Sunday, October 28, 2007

Got a bug

I've got some sort of bug that started off with shooting pain from my jaw hinge into my cheek. I thought it was TMJ - just what I need along with the grinding & clenching that I do under stress!! I applied heat - thank goodness for those nice grain-filled, microwavable heating pads!!! - put some Feeney's in my tea - like Bailey's only cheaper - & went to bed. Got up next morning to swollen eyes, stuffed nose, cough & body aches. No TMJ, just another bloody virus! Probably started with an inner ear infection. But, I have to work dammit. Today is the third day of whatever this is - & while I don't feel TERRIBLE, I am achy, sneezy, wheezy, blowing, stuffed & unambitious. Sundays are usually laundry days - I make soup, I clean the bathroom, I spin & watch the H&G channel. I catch up on Blogs I haven't had time to read. I just feel like laying on the couch! sigh
Although I've got this 'whatever' virus, all is not lost. I discovered Feeney's. It's Irish Creme liquour like Bailey's but $6 a bottle cheaper! And soooooo nice in tea before bed. I put milk in my tea anyway so Feeney's just adds an extra dollop of sleepy medicine. And it tastes good. hehehehe

I've just turned the heel on my first Lanna Grossa sock & am on the gussets for the other. This is the green/blue/brown with just a touch of orange yarn that I thought was Super Soxx. It is not, it's Lanna Grossa. The yarn makes a nice mottled blend of color & feels thicker than the other sock yarns so far. Have to see what happens when I wash it the first time.

I've been trying out my new spindle that I got in the gift exchange at Desert Mesa earlier this month. I'm not much of a spindler, I prefer the wheel, but, this little spindle really goes like stink. It spins for quite a long time, doesn't wobble when it spins & comes apart too. I was quite pleasantly surprised at how nice it actually is. I've paid a lot of money for a couple of other spindles that don't spin nearly as well & you really should always carry one just to try out fibre before you buy it!!! I like the fact that it comes apart & lays nice & flat for packing in a bag or purse. I suspect I'll be using a spindle a lot more than I ever did before I got this one. Thanks Wendy!!

I relented & took in the Christmas cacti & the Jade plant the other night. The weather channel was talking about going down to 2 degrees. So I brought them in - the Cacti are both loaded with buds - apparently they're Hallowe'en cacti! And I swear the one in the bathroom has produced even more of them since it came in! I was able to shift one spider plant with all the babies intact, to my buddy with the greenhouse. He wasn't able to lift the big pot with the HUGE spider with the jade plants & lobelia so I'll tuck it in next to the back wall where it's protected & it may survive the winter. After all, I did have the potato vines over there for almost 7 years before they finally kicked the bucket last winter.

I put Arvik away for the moment & dug out my 'Ginny's' sweater. The sleeves are done & I just need to finish the hip triangles & neck ribbing to finish it off. Ginny is knit from the top down in a raglan-type shaping that results in a deep V down the front, back & sleeves. This leads the eye down to minimize Boobs & Belly- according to the designer, Medrith Glover. I'm not sure anything really minimizes excess in those areas but hey, what do I know??? I've used new & recycled yarn in this sweater in three colors to emphasize the deep V. If I remember correctly, most of the yarn is Luzerne from Scheepsjwool. I bought most of it more than 25 years ago! And I've owned sweaters in both shades of purple as well as the deep plum which I didn't use in this sweater. The pink stripe is actually a wild hot pink & purple thick & thin boucle that I found in a thrift store & saved for something special.
I decided I needed something warmer & lots of fun for the winter. Must be the drab days working on my feverish brain . . . . .

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Sun is Back

Wow. It was really nippy this morning when I went out to the Van but the day really improved with age. I should be off somewhere in the sunshine drinking a latte. And the Van is off somewhere where I'm not. The BT borrowed it sometime this morning for a "couple of hours" - yeah, right. I think I now know what it's like to loan the car to your kid. It comes back when it feels like it & it's always empty.

In the meantime - the Wednesday Nite Nitters met last night with a lot of projects in hand. Laura is knitting the afghan in alpaca, Kathy is working on the socks in the upper right hand corner, my wild socks are in the left hand corner, Karen's are the orange & purple beauties & the grey mottled ones too. Karen brought her camera & couldn't resist taking a picture of all our projects at once. Gail's project was being cast-on when the photo was taken & missed the group shot. She was knitting a mobius scarf from her handspun in black rainbow glitter from Aurelia fibres.

Karen cracked us all up when she arrived wearing her new hat. It was red with purple netting & a big purple bow! The stinker didn't send me a copy but you can view it on her blog at

I haven't knit a stitch on ANY of my sweaters this week. I don't know why. Well, maybe I know why - I'm tired of them. I'm a starter, not a finisher. This is why socks appeal to me so much - I get them finished before I get tired of them! I know, I know - if I get cold enough, I'll drag myself back to the damn things & finish one of them . . . . it isn't cold enough yet.

On the home front - I've been looking at a pair of outlandish earrings hanging on a hook in my bathroom for a couple of years - I have NO idea why I'd buy such a thing in the first place. They're a cluster of translucent, round, pink wafers about half the size of my little fingernail with a pink drop bead attached with silver metal. They attach to fish hook earrings by little rings & look like thick, pink bushes attached to either side of my face when I put them on. They tend to make my round face look even rounder!! What WAS I thinking??? Took a pair of pliers to them yesterday & left only two pink wafers on each fish hook. I now have a pair of earrings I'll wear & 16 pink wafers with drops attached laying on the counter. Hmmm - I always need stitch markers . . . . . Karen, who made all of the little teddy bear markers I now use on my fine needles, thought it was a really great idea. Recycle, reuse???

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'm in love with a Wallaby

I finally joined the Langley Spinners & Weavers Guild. I've been meaning to join for several years but just never got there - I have no idea where the time goes after I make these decisions, it just goes! One of the members wears a knitted hooded sweatshirt with a pouch. I keep looking at it & touching it - she knit two of them for herself out of cotton yarn - I think it would look great in wool but this sweater needs to be washable. It's the sort of thing you want to throw on for any casual activity & it would get a LOT of wear. Doris says she wears hers everywhere, constantly! Last weekend I finally got the pattern - it's called a 'Wallaby' and it starts at a size 2 & goes to XXL or something like that. I found a couple of balls of Bernat Aspensoft - 80% acrylic, 20% wool - Thought I'd knit it up in a size 2, just to see how it goes. I like the Aspensoft. I've knit boot socks with it in the past & liked working with it. I've knit with the Bernat Ragg yarn too but I don't like the little 'bits' it sheds as you knit. Neither do my lungs!!

Looks like winter has come early. It's cool, blustery & the kind of damp that penetrates your bones. Good knitting weather I guess, and most definitely wool weather! I have to finish knitting my Arvik sweater although I suspect it needs more stitches in the front & I'm not sure how I feel about it at the moment. I've decided to finish it, huddle with my crafty friends & see what they think. It won't take that long to reknit if they agree with me - but it would be nice NOT to redo it right now, especially since I added sleeves!! And I have the purple 'Ginny' sweater to finish. It's a lot heavier than Arvik - certainly more colorful too. And then I have the half-finished jacket from the Dawn French book, Big Knits to finish! In screaming fuchsia! I do love bright colors! Hmmmm - I wonder what the Wallaby would look like in fuchsia??? I suppose I really must learn to finish one project before going off on a tangent with another but who, out there, is without UFOs??

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Back in my Own Bed!

I've never been a good traveller. I like going places & seeing new things - don't get me wrong - but I hate sleeping in a strange bed. Even when I have my own pillows & blanket, I don't sleep very well. And, well, I get a bit cranky when I'm sleep deprived!! And, it takes a couple of days to get my sunny nature back. (shut up Gail & Karen)

Other than the lack of sleep, I enjoyed the Desert Mesa Retreat! The food is always good - just like mom used to make!!! I took my sock-in-progress along to knit in the truck - Gail got to drive this year!! I was able to see the details I never get to see when I'm the driver - like the little bushes that turn bright red & dot the hillsides between the sagebrush & the low grasses. I didn't recognize Big Horned Sheep on the side of the road - hey, I've never seen one in the flesh before! I did knit a little on my socks but I was so busy yakking & looking that they're still unfinished.

Desert Mesa sold out this year. We had several people sleeping outside in the parking lot so they could attend. The three vendors brought lots of goodies - I bought "Knitted Kimonos" which I'd been eye-balling for some time! A little tussah silk from another - I do love silk! And some silk & merino from the third just because it was a new-to-me colorway. One of our new spinners has taken up raising Mohair goats & brought some of her luscious dyed fibre - I bought three bags of colored roving! Support your local farmer I say!!

I also received a very special gift from the estate of Lee Bennett, one of our local fibre artists. Her personal library was donated to the spinners attending the retreat this year - we each picked one to enjoy in her honor. Thank you Bennett family.

At Retreat, there's always someone creating something you never thought of. And the lace shawls, OMG!! Spinners are woodworkers - look at the restored wheels & handmade spindles; they're weavers - some are wearing jackets & suits from handmade cloth; they're knitters & crocheters - so many wild socks, sweaters, scarves & hats & they're musicians - one spinner even brought her harp to entertain us as we turned fibre into yarn. So many talented people in a very small place. And our lone male spinner, Bill, tunes up all the wheels - even my old Indian Spinner clone though he'd like to chop it into firewood . . . . . my baby got a new belt this year!

All in all, it was a busy weekend, with sunshine & laughter, the renewal of friendships, new toys & a great trip both ways. No rain at all till we hit Home - isn't that always the way???? Since Blogger is being testy this morning, I can't post pictures but I can fix that next time!

Monday, October 08, 2007

It's Official Thanksgiving Day

And it's just another day in the Spinster basement suite. It's damp, it's cold & I'm coughing - again. I used to love these holiday mornings because I'd get up, drink strong tea & spin or knit while watching the Home & Garden channel or Newsworld. But I got a second-hand movie stuck in the VCR - which is also my channel converter - & now I have only 2 thru 13! Have you ever tried to find a Converter for an old tv?? Even the Pawn Shops won't bother with them. My little 14" JVC tv is an antique with a picture & color so sharp I won't throw it out. But it doesn't have an internal converter & I'm suffering from withdrawl. I love H&G, History, CBC Newsworld, PBS & Knowledge Network. I miss the British Antiques Roadshow in the mornings, sigh. I know I'm supposed to be thankful but I'm finding it hard these days.

Got two invites to snarf down turkey with all the trimmings today but I think I'll hide at home with a book & my wooly afghan. There are times when you just want peace, quiet & comfort. I just don't feel like being sociable today so I think I'd rather read. Or maybe I'll put on a recorded book & finish those grey & blue socks which are ready to have their heels turned.

And even if I'm not waving a flag or yelling out loud, I'm thankful to all of the folks who spend their days looking out for my well-being & safety even if we don't know each other. I know you don't get paid what you're worth but I'm thankful you're there when I need you!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Houston, We have Sleeves

My first handspun sweater now has sleeves. Three-quarter sleeves. I'm always pushing them up so why not just knit shorter ones?? I want this as a work sweater anyway so it's light, dark & plainly knit. I love the way the range of greys from the Arvik fleece creates a mottled, stippled & striped fabric - I have plans to knit another sweat
er or maybe a shawl out of more of this lovely wool. Now if I could just learn to adjust the light to get a true color of the handspun I've created . . . .

I dug thru the stash & found a couple of balls of Confetti yarn in greys & a bright blue. The world has
turned dreary, damp & grey so I thought some color would brighten up my part of it. Yeah, I could wear the hot reds & yellows of Mexiko but I think I'd like bright blues or turquoises instead. Maybe even throw in some hot pinks for effect - Hmmmm - maybe some dyeing is in order . . . . . .

By the way, the actual color of my sweater is in the picture behind the sock yarn. Isn't it gorgeous????

I have wheels again!! My favorite mechanic took it away & loaned me his red rocket for a couple of days - oh my, could that thing go!!! But, I have my wheels back with HEAT, a windshield washer & a new gizmo to open my gas flap without resorting to needle-nosed pliers. I DO love handy men!!!

Congratulations to Marlene ( for winning not ONE but TWO blog contests!!!