Friday, October 31, 2008

a long week

perhaps you've figured out by now that i've not had too many minutes to myself over the last two weeks. while i realize that my silence on this blog doesn't really qualify as a tragedy of epic proportions, it does sometimes mark that i'm running low on down time, and that's never a good thing.

but, it's Friday and as everyone knows, Friday night is date-night at Ivory Jack's, the closest we get to a local pub. i use the word 'local' since we WERE local to it when we lived in the waterless cabin in Goldstream Valley. now that we're on the hill, Ivory Jack's isn't so local. but you know what they say -- you can take the girl out of the Goldstream, but you can't take the Goldstream out of the girl...or soemthing like that.

anyhoo, this is the perfect way to spend Halloween - dressed up like Goldstreamers with tasty beers as our costume props.

Cob is pretty satisfied with his beer stain on the Ivory Jack's placemat which features the famous Ode to an Oosik (on the second page - read on, oh faithful reader).

oh, and some knitting, too (child's socks in purple bamboo yarn - Christmas is coming, you know).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

last week-end catch up

before we get to Thursday, i'm taking a few minutes to remember last week-end, which was particularly fun, largely due to the awesomeness of my friends, who have been a HUGE relief through the last many working week-ends for me...

Friday night, we gathered at the Pub to celebrate Mia's 25th (or something like that) birthday. Cara, Lynne, Jim, Cob, Stevie, Mia, Theresa, Liz and I ate carrot cake cupcakes and danced to the Thneeds.

Saturday morning (and afternoon) found me on the couch on a cold day, knitting, but really just being a Mieze-pillow.

Saturday night, Dea and Ben came over with a pizza. i pushed Mieze off the couch about a hundred times to make room for Dea, who has been dazzling me with her knitting commitment and quickly growing skill! First scarves, then hats - now that girl's knitting lace!

I think i worked a little on Sunday morning, and then after an afternoon knitting and playing Scrabble with Sapphire (my BBBS little sister), i went to Kristen's for a bowl of chili...

...and a little Baby Boo love.

it was a good week-end. it's snowing right now (4" and counting...), so maybe i'll break out the skis or snowshoes come Saturday!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

spinning out of control

i got a new wrinkle on my brain today.

for a while now, i've toyed with the idea of learning to spin (yarn that is, not a stationary bike to a remixed beat), but i've never gotten around to it. not so today. i found my way to A Weaver's Yarn, where the owner helped me figure out how to get my mind around turning beautiful batts of fiber into plied yarn with the help of an equally lovely piece of wood. i mean, what could be better than hand knitting a sweater for someone you love, other than spinning the yarn to make a hand-knitted sweater for someone you love? a no-brainer, really.

ok, this is what i learned.

that thing is spinning, even if you can't tell. i'm drafting fibers and spinning them into yarn - a chunky, home-spunny looking yarn, but yarn nonetheless! and my teacher reminded me that some people pay a lot of $$ for homespun yarn (just like my crazy curly, mind-of-its-own hair, i thought - some people actually pay $$ to make their hair fall in ringlets while all i've ever dreamed of is shiny straight locks...but i digress)

here's what i learned: every fiber has a staple, the natural length of the fibers that make up the roving, which is the big cottony thing that you spin into yarn. i also learned that you have to keep an eye on the hook at the top of the spindle, which likes to let go of your newly made yarn when you're not looking. you can spin the spindle in either direction - you just have to be consistent. however, as with everything yarn related, old wives' tales reign. apparently, counter-clockwise spinning can lead you to inadvertedly cast spells, which can make people suspect you to be a witch and get to thinking about burning stakes. i happen to spin clockwise it turns out, but my teacher spins counter-clockwise, so she says that she just remembers to think happy thoughts while spinning so that if any spells fling out unexpectedly, they'll be good ones. i think that's an excellent plan.

you know, i've knit many, many yards of yarn without really spending much time thinking about how this yarn was spun or plied. spinning only a few yards, as i did today, and trying to make it look even is HARD. really hard. i'm not sure i'll ever escape really appreciating this aspect of my yarn again!

i'm also sure that i'll eventually get to a place where i can think happy thoughts while spinning along, instead of the current $&%#* thoughts that zing around my brain as the spindle hook lets my yarn go and i try to convince my fingers that they're really ARE fingers and not the 8 thumbs they're acting like.

thank goodness i spin clockwise...