November 30, 2008
Posted by Wanda J under Home
| Tags: Flu
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An unsettled feeling twisted my stomach, disturbing my sleep.
Was it the left-over vegetable casserole that had sat out in the car for awhile after the Sunday potluck? The afternoon had been in the frosty low thirties. Still.
Tattered sleep was my lot for the rest of that night. And the week. By the second day chills, fever, achy bones, and skin that crawled at a mere touch had me captive. Lots of tea, a decent book and short bursts of knitting has been the order of the week.
A slight burning has settled deep in my chest and a hammer clangs my head when I cough, otherwise I think the fever is about gone, the achy pains are dimming and I’m on the mend. For a short while this morning I even contemplated a small walk outside. Until I brought in an armload of fire wood and knew I oughtn’t push it.
Firewood. It’s a bit of a sore spot with me these past days. Thursday, while Ed was helping our son’s family pack up their house getting ready for today’s big move, I realized the wood box was completely empty, as was the bigger box by the back door. Six trips, arms stacked high, back and forth from the wood shed up the steps to the big wood box then a seventh armload for the inside box. I felt like a huge whimp. Ed keeps his shop wood supply and fire going, I’m responsible for the house wood and fire. Except for the initial hauling, splitting and stacking – those tend to be family occasions. Usually I don’t mind. But not once this week did it occur to him that I would appreciate the help. (I must try to remember: Ed wasn’t gifted with the ability to read my mind.) I should have asked Ed, he would have done it without a murmur. But I wanted him to notice, to take care of me. Pride, hmphf. I hated to ask, he’s been so crazy busy with the enormous work load lately and then his willingness to spend all Thursday, and again this afternoon, helping the kids with the move. I was supposed to babysit the grands this weekend. Big sob! Fortunately the weather has been quite mild and relatively pleasant.
(I look at that picture and wonder why in the world it has never occurred to me to use that cart to bring the wood to the back porch!)
Ed is a non-demonstratively compassionate person. His understated sensitively was one of the first things that drew me to him. But he doesn’t do sick. Maybe it was growing up with a dad who whimpers at a hangnail or a paper cut. His dad expected to be waited on hand and foot when he was sick. More likely it was growing up with a younger brother who lived very stoically with cystic fibrosis for thirty-three years. At that time he’d was the longest surviving CF person on record. Many times he was so desperately sick he had to be hospitalized to stay alive. Despite a terrible disease Dan lived his life as well as he possibly could. He never used his CF as an excuse not to do things. He did not complain, and he hated a fuss to be made over him.
After thirty years of marriage I know better than to expect sympathy when I’m sick. And I don’t mean to complain. All right, yes, I am complaining. There are times that a lack of pampering when I’m really feeling rotten is the undoing of my emotions.
Expectations. We all have them. They are the cause of huge disappointments and let-downs.
They can also be a joyous spot in our lives.
Christmas is in twenty-five days! This is project that I spun the yarn for which I wrote about in the previous post. In spite of overspinning the yarn I’m very pleased with how the bag turned out. I’m particularly tickled by the extra circle of white I snuck onto the bottom. Kind of like a small secret.
Knitted bag ready to toss into the washing machine.
Bag felted and dried.
Pattern: The Purse by KnitKit
Needles: Jenkins US9 16″ circs, US9 dpn
Yarn: Dark – 4oz, 204 yds Handspun Merino wool hand-dyed by Crafty in a Good Way, White – 1 – oz, 44yds, Handspun Icelandic wool
I didn’t have a long enough length of merino yarn left to make a solid colored cord and I’m not crazy about the white in it. I do have some of the merino wool so I might spin up another 3 – 4yds. l need to add a couple of buttons to the cords and if you click on the link you’ll see I used my yarn differently. I’d intended to use the white in the middle as in the pattern but after doing the first two rows of white knew there wouldn’t be enough. As it was I ended up with only enough to make the cord.
It was definitely a fun project and I plan to make some more but not likely for Christmas this year.
Began spinning: Nov 3rd
Started Knitting: Nov 6th
Finished, felted and dried: Nov 19th
I hope it meets Aurora’s expectations.
November 18, 2008
Posted by Wanda J under Fiber
| Tags: Spinning
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“There is very little “bad” yarn out there. It is “bad” when we make
inappropriate choices. We have to learn to identify yarns with the
characteristics we want to work with in order to make textiles that
will perform their function.”
Author – “Magic in the Water: Wet Finishing Handwovens”
Seminar teacher – “A Good Yarn”
“As final maxims: never forget the material you are working with, and try always to use it for doing what it can do best: if you feel yourself hampered by the material in which you are working, instead of being helped by it, you have so far not learned your business, any more than a would-be poet has, who complains of the hardship of writing in measure and rhyme. The special limitations of the material should be a pleasure to you, not a hindrance: a designer, therefore, should always thoroughly understand the processes of the special manufacture he is dealing with, or the result will be a mere tour de force. On the other hand, it is the pleasure in understanding the capabilities of a special material, and using them for suggesting (not imitating) natural beauty and incident, that gives the raison d’être of decorative art.”
William Morris “Textiles” (1893)
One of my daily reads is the Yahoo group Weaving digest. It’s a vibrant group willing to share a wealth of information and knowledge. Laura Fry posted the first statement which was followed by another person posting the quote by William Morris.
With the spinning I’ve been doing for weaving and knitting these resonated with what I’m learning as I totter down new paths of learning and not just doing, which is my wont.
Last week I spun 2 ounces of merino to knit a bag with the intention of felting it. On Sunday I decided to add a few bands of white. I’d purchased a few ounces of icelandic wool at OFFF which I hadn’t tried spinning yet. Since most of the spinning I’ve done these past months has been for weaving I’ve gotten into spinning a finer, tighter yarn, which has carried over into the yarns I spun this past week for knitting. I should have spun lighter, loftier yarn. Especially the icelandic which I regret not using the spindle for.
The spindle gives me much more control and consistency throughout the entire batch. With the wheel there is a tendency to over-twist. I was on a roll and wanted to spin, ply and set the twist all within a couple hours. Knitting with the icelandic yarn yesterday I realized there’s too much twist. I should have taken a page from Willow‘s post a couple days ago – there are second chances. Rather than continuing to knit ahead, the yarn should have been run back through the wheel untwisting it some. (Check out her blog, this is a month for daily posts of a “Thankful Month”.)
It’s not that my yarn is “bad”, it would make excellent warp yarn, but it was spun without serious contemplation of what technique and tools I should use for the best end results.
(No time for taking, editing and uploading pictures. We’ve been swamped with a flood of orders through Stitch Diva‘s sale on some of our products, which ends today.)
November 13, 2008
The walk was short but fruitful. Early afternoon brought a small window of calm in several days of blustery rainy weather. The winds had carried pears from the tree, scattering them among the leaves.
Past the cherry tree and through the gate to the pear tree which is just barely visible on the other side of the gate. It’s lost all of its leaves. The gravenstein apple tree tenaciously clings to its leaves.
Most of the pears aren’t quite ripe but they are in a drier place now.
The woven cloth is finished, washed, and dried. I haven’t started laying out a vest pattern. There’s another present that needs to be knit but first the yarn had to be spun. This is one of those projects that makes me happy to be working on. I only need 250 yards of yarn and it should be a fairly quick knit.
I split 2 ounces of merino roving lengthwise into two one ounce lengths which were then spun onto separate bobbins. My spinning must not have been as even as I’d wished; during the plying one bobbin ran out before the other. I took the remainder on the second bobbin and wound it around a Turkish spindle forming a center pull ball with the yarn going to the spinning wheel as the center pull, the tail unwinding from the outside of the ball. (It works either way.) My version of a nostepinne. Removing the shaft and arms I stuck my thumb through the center hole, attached the tail to the end of short single and began plying the rest of the yarn.
Worked like a charm.
The yarn has been soaked in hot water and is now drip drying.
Has it been over a week since the contest?! Ed needed to make a couple batches of spindles but I believe he’ll be getting a start on the prize needles tomorrow or Saturday. Thanks to all who were such good sports.
We watched the grandkids Monday and then yesterday we had our daughter over for dinner and since Justin and Mandy were going to be in the neighborhood we invited them to join us. I’d planned to post Walk with me Wednesday but by the time they’d left amid the high winds and rains our internet connection was lost.
November 5, 2008
We sure like to complicate things some times, like making a contest out of asking what Ed likes listening to. As if you would have any clue. You were good sports and threw out some great answers. We had fun reading what you thought. It was all pretty straightforward and simple with everyone guessing having their name written on a piece of paper, folded and tossed into a hat.
Ed has always liked listening to the radio when he works. His preferred entertainment is oldies rock. He also likes older country. The real stuff, not the kind that passes for country the past few decades. Rounding out music he likes is bluegrass, again preferably the older styles; gospel; some r&B; loves big band. And Hot August Night (Neil Diamond) He is rather eclectic. Yes he does like classical but in small doses. He rarely listens to talk radio. Hates sports with a passion (sorry Pia!) Has never gotten into listening to books on tape.
The drawing took place just a few minutes ago, after Ed got home from fixing a neighbor’s door. It’s been a long past few days. We had the grandkids dropped off Sunday afternoon to spend the night and Monday with us. They both had colds and were a bit peevish. I’m now getting a cold. I’m trying not to be peevish.
Yesterday was catch up day for emails and orders. Ed had invited friends over for dinner so there was that followed by the women’s fellowship/Bible study which I was sort of responsible for leading last night. Today was the monthly spinning guild day. I enjoy that day of spinning with others though I went with mixed feelings since it seems that everyday I’m getting further behind with shipping out orders and doing bookwork. I really wish spinning day wasn’t the first Wednesday. The first week of the month is often my busiest.
Back to the drawing. All had been ordinary and calm until while driving and listening to the radio on Sunday Ed got the wild idea of adding a tricky twist – who is his favorite all time singer?
By last night Ed felt bad about being tricky so I removed all the names of everyone who actually guessed a person’s name leaving the names of those who only guessed what he listened to in the hat. Shaking the hat vigorously Ed reached in and removed a thrice folded paper.
Mary H AKA Turtleknitter Mary, you get the #7/4.5mm 32″L circular needles.
Please understand that as a rule Ed is very straightforward person who calls it as he sees it, no tricks, especially no puzzles or guessing games with him. So the truth is that his contriteness lead him to declare
To the six who braved a singer’s name
he will make each of you either a pair of circs or a crochet hook in the size and wood you’d like. Let’s communicate tomorrow (Nov 6th) as to what you’d like in size etc.
Ah! But wait!!! There was a winner who did actually guess the name of Ed’s favorite singer but because of Ed’s deviousness she didn’t think it could be Patsy Cline!
Marianne of Okalahoma take a bow.
Thanks everyone for hazarding guesses and playing along!
November 3, 2008
Here’s a clue to what Ed enjoys listening to while working:
While out driving yesterday Ed heard a song by a singer he really likes, Jim Reeves who was singing with Patsy Cline. He thought about his favorite vocal singer of all times – a woman who is no longer alive.
All names of everyone who’s ventured a guess about Ed’s listening entertainment have been placed in the hat for the Pink Ivory US7/4.5mm 32” circulars.
Want to see more of Ed’s excellent work?
To add to the drawing here’s a chance for another winner:
If you can guess the exact name of his favorite singer you will be eligible for a pair of needles made specifically for you: circulars size from US1/2.25mm up to US50/25mm in the length you’d like!
Since I will not be home until late tomorrow evening I will check for last comments early Wednesday morning (Pacific Standard Time, Nov 5th) Drawing to take place that evening. Get your guess in while you can.
Shadows on the weaving The weaving is finished! Only the hemming, cutting it off the loom and wet finishing left to do tomorrow. Anyone know of a good tailored vest pattern?