Sunday, December 31, 2006

As the Year Turns

I'll be sooo glad when all the Holiday Hoopla ends. When you're single,(separated is good enough!) have no close family & childless, its a tough & lonely time of year.

Ronn & I used to host the Orphan's Christmas Dinner for our orphaned friends who had nowhere to go. He'd cook the dinner, supply the tree & the dishwasher!!! I shopped, wrapped & supplied gifts & got to clean up the damed kitchen afterwards. They'd eat, drink, make a mess, fall asleep & leave with goody bags of leftovers that we didn't have to eat. After a few years we realized the orphans were all gone & there was just US left. And I just wanted time to spin. Not a good year for the BT.

So I'm hoping to shift him off for this New Year's evening to celebrate with a bunch of guys who just want to drink, play cards, blow off steam & yahoo into the wee hours with no women around to laugh at them. I want to spend the evening with my spinning wheel! And Arvik.

I ordered a new pattern from Just One More Row!! I love the neckline of this sweater, its easy to knit & I'm hoping to knit it out of my handspun. It goes up to a size XXXL if I remember correctly - which is 62" & all sizes are in the pattern. So, if you & your much larger or smaller friend both love it - you can both use it!!! I love Jill's patterns, they're inexpensive, easy to knit & the customer service is great. Jill is a one woman company. And, most of the designs DON'T have to be sewn together, they're knit in one piece with minimal finishing . . . . She also has some really interesting bag patterns which can be bought as a kit or just by the pattern. She's worth checking out.

So, I'm hoping the New Year will be better financially for me - the BT has been off for 19 months since his car accident & it looks like he has a permanent disability. We are NOT happy about that. ICBC & the Disability company STILL haven't paid wage loss or rehab. We've learned that paying for insurance doesn't necessarily mean you'll get it if you NEED it. A Lotto win over $100,000 would be appreciated. My Horoscope does say my financial situation will improve in 2007. Bout time.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Aftermath

Another Christmas with its guilt, excuses, complaints & excesses is over! I ignored the whole thing, stayed home, fondled Arvik & watched all the oldies on tv. Had a great day. I delivered presents hither, thither & yon but otherwise avoided the obligitory 'family' gatherings. I'm getting much better at this as I age . . . . .

And what did I get for Christmas??? Peace, quiet, a box of sock yarn from Elann & some LUSH goodies I ordered on line! Oh yeah, & my half of that 15 pounds of mill ends from Brown Sheep. The BT wants to buy me the most expensive, elaborate spinning wheel made by man but I keep trying to talk him into something plain, small & portable . . . . he can buy it when I find it!!

I spent Christmas eve & most of the Day spinning Arvik - I have two more big, fat, fluffy skeins . . . and I'm working on a third one while I watch the Home & Garden channel tonite. I was going to dribble some Astro Blaster Blue Koolaid on a bump or two from the big bag of mill ends today but got involved in other fibery things & forgot - too bad I have to work tomorrow!!! But, who knows, I may just do it tonite before bed because it'll take days to dry!! One thing about dyeing with Koolaid - you don't need any vinegar & its not totally necessary to wet the whole thing. I can inject the dye into the centre of the 'egg' & just let it dry. The fun will come when I pull out the centre & spin it up. I've got a request for a touque so this might be an interesting way to liven it up.

And of course, I've been yakking about the neat sweater I found for Arvik. It was designed for silk waste but I think it would be ideal for Arvik's lovely range of greys. Its knit in garter stitch with an elongated stitch between every couple of garter rows. Each of the three pieces is knit in a different direction with an asymmetrical front - hopefully it looks as good on someone WITH boobs as it does on someone WITHOUT!!

Geeze, did I say BOOBS?? Sweaters are hard to knit when you have em gang. And then add a belly as well . . . . . Can you say "fitting problems"???? Oh well, I'm going to give this one a try, after all, it may work out. And, what have I got to lose anyway?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Two Days Before Christmas & all Thru the House . . . .

The BumBags are all packed

and by the door they are stacked!

Stuffed with goodies, snacks & socks

even toothbrushs & paste all in a box.

The BT's small orange box filled with loot

became a crate of surprises, oh what a hoot!!

I've packed up boxes for his nephew & son

and knit socks for his dad & his mom.

I hear there's a turkey & a ham

waiting to come here & get in the pan.

So, I'm buying milk, triscuits & dip

locking the doors & no, its not a fit

I'm spending the holidays totally shut in

and communing with fibre while I spin!!

Speaking of Goodies - here's a picture of the three handpainted skeins I won for the 'OOPS' story I sent to Canspin. Joanne, of Homespun Angoras Fibre Co, did all the work for our Secret Santa exchange AND supplied the prize for the story contest!! The skeins are wonderfull!! She sent along a slipper pattern, can you imagine???? But they're much too nice for SLIPPERS!!!!! A Hat would be more like it. Or a nice long scarf or even a Hoodie Scarf - you know the kind - you make an extra long scarf, fold it in half & sew a short seam up the centre so it makes a hood & then you wrap the ends around your neck. We use to make them when I was a kid for skating. They stayed on your head & around your neck better than just a scarf. And the back of your head was warm too.

And Speaking of Secret Santa . . . Here's a pic of the lovely painted SILK my SS sent me! Its from Legacy Studios in Alberta . . . I just love looking at it!!!! I have some plain hankies that I wanted to dribble dye & some wild colored silk waste that I bought last year at Fibre Fest . . . . I wonder if I can pick up the colors somewhat & dye the hankies so they'd bridge the gap between the colors in this & the waste . . . . . hmmmmmm. I also dug out an old shawl I spun & crocheted up in the 70s. I was so dumb I never set the spin in the yarn. So, I pulled it apart, including the fringe - hey, there's two bricks of silk in that thing!!!

And then there's Arvik to finish spinning. I love Arvik. She has such variation in color in her grey fleece which is soooooo soft. Linda Wendelboe keeps Arvik for me, LOL. I've finished another two fat skeins for my sweater & intend to finish spinning up the smaller Arvik fleece over the holidays - yes, I'm keeping my hands off the BIG BAG until this fleece is done!! I want to wear this ARVIK sweater sometime this winter!!! The actual sweater will be simple to knit, comes in three pieces with an asymmetrical front & is found in INKnitting, the Fall, 2005 issue.

So much fibre, sooooo little time!! I have so much fibre hanging round here these days that I'm planning on adding a codicil to my will so I can leave it to some other Fibre Fanatic when I die!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

How the Time Flies When Yer Having Fun!!

I suddenly realized I haven't blogged for ages. I've got new things on the go, too many places yet to go, less time to go & its almost time for the country to shut down for Christmas!! But, I suppose there's still time to hock our souls to the Gods of Guilt, Tradition & Commerce . . . Do I have the "Christmas Spirit"?? Hell NO! Bah Humbug & all that.
I see all the families telling their sad stories to the newspapers so they can get a hamper & toys for the kids - what about their struggle to survive the rest of the year??? And, what about all the people who have no one? Its lonely enough for some but this constant barrage makes it even worse. Is there Really ANY Christmas Spirit out there??? I wonder.

Speaking of commercial stuff - I got my 15 pound bag of Brown Sheep mill ends!!!! Actually, I've been spinning, dyeing & knitting up samples - couldn't keep my fingers out of it!!!! It came about 3 weeks after ordering, no duty or GST & the box expanded nicely when I opened it!!! About a third of the bag is wool/mohair in lovely roving. The mohair blend always has a pink line thru it to identify it which rinses out easily. This pic shows it as it comes out of the bag! I am just thrilled with the quality of fibre in the bag!!! It ended up costing $150.58 for 15 pounds. Gail & I are splitting this one so I guess we'll be spinning for some time to come. We've already talked about having a dyeing party in the summer . . . . .

The rest of the ends look like large, firm, oval eggs - the wool pulls out from the centre of each weird egg so I'm figuring this is the last inside bit from a huge cone that wound from the outside. There's about 5 kinds of fibre in this bag, a polworth I think - spongey, soft & stretchy; a hairy, glossy, almost hairy fibre in sheets - might just be mohair; a glossy, creamy roving; a really crimpy, dense but soft fibre & the mohair/wool.
I spun up a little of each, dyed some & knit a small swatch for my Sheep Book. I think I like the Polworth even better than the mohair/wool roving although the roving spins up beautifully, evenly & finely. Sigh . . . . . this is a wonderful bag of stuff!!!!

I am completing Sock #26 this year for the male part of the 'Parents Who Have Everything' just in time for Christmas. They get socks now for Birthdays, Christmas & Anniversaries which makes the gift giving easy!!
I'm using my Bamboo Skewer needles here with Confetti in the light blue splotch dyelot. I started off with 73 sts & am using the Queen Kahuna heel. Yes Virginia, I no longer knit a flap & struggle to see to pick up those stitches on either side!!!! It took 3 pairs of socks before I got the method firmly in my noggin but now I can do it in my sleep without the lights on. I like this heel because there's lots of room in it & I can do my favorite slip 1, knit 1 ribbed heel from the back of the heel all the way around to the instep, giving a nice cushy heel!
The BT loves this cushy heel & got his socks at the beginning of December. Two more pairs to go to girls who asked for Frankensocks!!! And how many days till the Big Day??? Yeah, I'll get em done!!!