March (Weather) Madness

The sun, rain and snow have been playing for air time in our area this week.

Maybe it wouldn’t feel so  novel if we hadn’t just reveled in a sunlit week when the leaves noticeably unfurled splashes of the shade of light green that dazzles the eyes, and the cherry and plum trees arrayed themselves with blossoms. The week spent in the courtroom had moments of balm while strolling along the sidewalks journeying to and from the car. Regretfully I didn’t get any pictures for no cameras are allowed in the courthouse and our car was parked five blocks away in the free parking structure. The last day we’d planned to take pictures but in our haste to get home and celebrate the good news all else was forgotten.

Driving to Abiqua Strings Ensemble practice a little after 6pm Thursday evening (the 27th) I had to stop to admire the beauty of the fresh fallen snow on the Cascade mountains. This view is looking East from Hazelnut Ridge about 2 miles from our place:
snowy-cascades.jpg

 

Zooming in towards the northeast, I spotted Mt Hood trying to shrug off lingering snowclouds:
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We live about 300′ above sea level but by late Friday morning the rain turned slushy, big fat plopping dollops of snow which continued to vie with sunbursts and rain throughout the weekend.

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Miserable business being out in this stuff.

The daffodils that only a week before had cheerfully greeted each sunny day daffodils.jpg

continue to bravely endure the freezing cold rains, snows, and deep, early morning frost.

This week I’ve been spinning baby camel lightly layered on top of corriedale. The plan is to spin singles of this blend then spin singles of the natural dark brown corriedale and ply them together. Eventually it will be a vest for Ed. Originally I planned to knit the vest but lately weaving has been on my mind. Soon it will be time to wrap the loom with another project that’s been on the back burner far too long
.

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Spinning cotton

I’m learning to upload to youtube. A couple weeks ago Aurora helped me film a short video of spinning cotton to put online.

I continue to read and hear many comments that Turkish spindles are too heavy to use on delicate fibers such as silk or cotton. I’d been spindling for only a few months when I bought some natural colored cotton to spin. I failed miserably and hadn’t tried it since.

A month ago a customer asked about spinning cotton and it seemed time to give it another whirl. I’m happy to say that yes! I can spin cotton with my Turkish spindle, and to add extra weight to that fact, I used a 2.8oz spindle.

The video was taken of my third time spinning. I was still getting used to the very short fibers and spinning on a throw rug which slowed down the process. The video is just under 3 minutes long. It’s not fancy, I plan to learn more editing and adding music but for now, please take a look. 🙂

Wreck

It’s been an exhausting week of daily court hearings concerning the wreck our daughter Aurora was in 2.5 years ago. One fine October day in 2005 she was driving along the main highway to town for a bit of shopping when a delivery truck plowed into her small Toyota pickup. No one saw what happened. The first people on the scene was a firefighter and his wife who called 911 and then stayed with Aurora who drifted in and out of consciousness. The driver of the delivery truck told them, and the paramedics who quickly appeared at the scene, that he thought she was coming slow enough that he had time to make the left hand turn. Shortly thereafter his story was changed and the organization he worked for chose to believe his new version.

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Aurora has since suffered severe migraines, dizziness, light-sensitivity, and the worst is she now has an attention disorder which causes her not to remember information and directions. It gets worse under stress or fatigue. She works as a receptionist in a clinic that had to assign her a partner who follows up and double-checks her work. On the stand her supervisor admitted that they keep her only because she’s good with the patients and is a hard worker who tries her best.

In the meantime the insurance company was refusing to pay her mounting medical bills. She had to get a lawyer as a last recourse. We were hoping that when they knew the facts they’d settle out of court, sadly, they didn’t.

To prove that yes, she has suffered mild brain injury she had to endure many various tests, psychological, neurological, medical, plus her educational transcripts were obtained, work records evaluated, medical records scrutinized until she felt her privacy had been totally invaded.

We’re still stunned that she, the victim, was dragged through this grueling experience just to prove her innocence while the driver of the delivery truck briefly showed up for a brief examination on the witness stand, then quickly disappeared. No inspection of his work records, no psychological tests, no deep probing by counselors or neuropsychologists. Even prior driving records were barred from court. How is this possible?

She was proven innocent with compensation for all past medical and specialist bills. It doesn’t take away the grind and pain of the last two and a half years, the loss of privacy and trust and the ongoing migraines and attention problems.  But now she can focus on adjusting to her limitations and moving forward to the best of her abilities.

Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the assurance we have in Him that there’s a far better life waiting after we’ve shed these old clothes of this present place.

We are truly grateful!

Massive Knitting Needles

There’s always someone willing to push the envelope. Think outside the box. Get radical.

You want radical?

As in big knitting needles?

Beyond big.

Huge.

Big Knitting Needles

Oh, you’d like to see a bigger picture?

Big enough?

Variety of Knitting Needles

Another perspective.

Small differences?

Sizes from smallest to largest: Brittany US2/2.75mm DPN in the socks (no, Ed doesn’t make small dpns -simply not worth the wood and effort). The rest are Jenkins needles: US3/3.25mm 32″L circulars; US50/25mm 14″L straight needles14″long straight (measurement of actual working surface); set of 50mm 60″L circular needles and one set of four 50mm 14″L dpn. Do you think they’d qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records? hmm

When the special request came in for a pair of size 50mm knitting needles we immediately assumed she wanted US50 which are 25mm. Ed scrounged around in the pantry looking for a cylinder of the equivalent size. Ah Ha. A baby food jar! Yep, that was about the size she was envisioning for a design she had in mind. Thinking way outside the lines. I just received an email from her today and she’s over the moon about them. I can hardly wait to see the promised pictures of completed works!

Can you imagine knitting with those huge pieces of wood?

Housekeeping:
My Yahoo email seems to be misbehaving. (After nearly a decade of no problems with that account. boo-hoo) With the exception of a personal email early Sunday and another one this afternoon only listserve emails seem to be getting through. A couple weeks ago a listserve I occassional visit sent a warning about a vicious spammer who’s hacked into listserves (including that listserve) and stolen emails info. Monday a spam arrived inbox using MY email as the sender! Something to do with 75% off. I never send out emails like that. If I were ever to promote a sale I would specify the exact product, plus I’d use our business address, not my personal one. I suspect that now my addy is being aggressively filtered. As a result I set up an account with gmail. If you’d like my new address, leave a comment and I’ll reply from the new address. The annoyances of modern communications and staying a step ahead of culprits. 😦

Spinning music, yarn and socks

Whew! It’s been awhile since I last posted, now I’m thrown a bit off balance from what I’d intended to post. Guess it’s time for an update on a couple finished projects and other tidbits of happenings.

First: My Learn to Spin with a Turkish Spindle DVD is finally finished and copies are going out the door. It’s the 28minute companion to my booklet. They are sold as one unit. If you’ve been wanting to learn how to spin, hesitate no longer. With our beautiful heirloom quality spindles that spin superbly, the book/dvd, and practice on your part you’ll get the hang of spinning in no time. 🙂

What else have has happened? Why, music! Crooked Finger Band had back to back Saturday night gigs. The first was a Valentine/spagetti dinner fundraiser for a semi-local church. We’ve done this night for the last five years which makes it a very comfortable, fun outing for us. We felt it was our best performance to date.

This past Saturday we drove 60 miles along some very curvy through the Cascade foothills to play for a woman’s retreat at the camp where Ed and I met 30+ years ago while on summer staff. I’d forgotten just how many hairpin turns there are on the last 10 miles! After setting up I quickly disappeared for a bit to walk among the trees and indulge in some wonderful memories.

 

Crooked Finger Band PlayersWe’ve never played in this type of setting so planned a varied playlist that included a good number of sing along songs mixed with our regular pieces. By the half time break the ladies were upbeat and full of energy. When someone asked if we could play a reel while they danced the Virginia reel, all the chairs and couches were quickly pushed against the walls and two lines formed and away they twirled, our singers joining them, as those of us with instruments played until they collapsed.
(Sorry about the fuzzy picture!)

Here’s a bit of spinning from January:

Azure Yarn

 

3.5 ounces Corriedale Pencil Roving
380 2 ply yards ca.
Spun on Louet Victoria

I find it interesting that it’s much easier to spin consistently with my spindle. Perhaps as I spin more with the Victoria it’ll even out. I suspect I’ll always prefer using Turk spindles.

 

The Monkey Socks, the knitting inspiration behind my tongue in cheek definition of the old saying “Mind your Ps and Qs”, were finished Saturday having missed DIL’s birthday by just two days. I spent over four hours knitting away Thursday hoping to get them done but by early afternoon crazy mistakes were being made so they were safely tucked away until a clearer brain prevailed.

Monkey Pattern Socks

The Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A.
By the fourth pattern repeat I had the pattern pretty much memorized. I probably will make more Monkey Socks in the future as I like the puffy, crazy look.
Yarn: Trekking 75% Wool/25% Nylon
I bought the yarn about five or six years ago. I’m not sure if age had something to do with the slight sticky feeling.

Needles: Brittany #2
I’ve been spoiled with Ed’s sharp needles and the rounded tips were driving me crazy so I laid a piece of fine grit sanding paper on the table and rolled each dpn back and forth until they were sharp.

Speaking of needles…next time around you’ll see what Ed made for a special, custom order. Did someone say BIG?

Mt Hood

 

 

 

We’ve had some incredibly beautiful weather for the past five days. Just look at Mt Hood! The camp we were at is some where along one of the tree covered ridges.

Minding my P’s & Q’s

I was moving steadily forward in an orderly fashion, minding my p’s and q’s. I can’t dwaddle right now for there’s a deadline to meet in two weeks.

You know how it is when an acquaintance pops up who demands your time. KT one of those friends with whom I don’t mind spending small bits of time. When she’s around my path is sure to diverge a bit and wander in new tracks. The problem is that she’s almost always accompanied by her shadow, S, whom I’d prefer to keep as a brief nodding acquaintance. When first saw KT yesterday I waved in happy recognition. But I was quickly stopped in my tracks when I realized her friend was following close on KT’s heel, demanding attention from me.

While KT is straightforward, simple and quick, I get slightly frustrated with S’s awkward ways and at times downright orneriness, to say nothing of her slippery nature. I try to be calm and patient with S for I know that KT needs her for balance. I just wish that I could learn how to get S to move quicker, at the least somewhat gracefully, and not to be such a bother when I encounter her.

I’m thankful they only come around every other row or so and then I reach the place where I gladly bid these nodding acquaintances, K2T and SSK, adieu for three blissful rounds.

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P for purl, Q for queue… You know, as in a line. Neat orderly lines formed by Knit stitches.
Don’t you think that’s really where that expression came from? Someone diligently tending to her stockings.
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Who wants to say Ps & Ks when Q says it so much better. :-0