February 2010


I took today to Not Leave My House and actually get some cleaning done.  I had moved the oak chest that I use both as yarn storage and as a low armrest/endtable at one side of the couch, and piled up the blankets that have been out on the couch all winter…and then Mel hopped up to the other side of the couch and started meowing.  I spread out the blankets again, and then saw this:

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Mel immediately purring and kneading the nest of blankets.

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A.k.a. breakfast, since I’m sorta tired of snow pictures and the new snow is sorta hard to distinguish from the snow that was still there from the last two storms, at least from my kitchen windows.

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Yum. (I stopped for groceries on my way home last night, at which point I got this (locally made, not necessarily locally-milled) croissant and the local chevre that I’m eating it with.)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a general update of knitting and spinning, so here’s what’s active now.  Unfortunately, it’s been grey and dark, so these are just evening pictures with flash.

First, the Olympic projects:

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Hedgerow mitts, altered for thicker yarn. It’s hard to see the texture, even in person, but the one that’s finished except for the thumb is comfy and squishy. I think I may have to knit another pair in finer yarn that’ll show the pattern better.

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And plying of the batts from Sherie from last winter. This one may very well not get finished this week, but I’m definitely getting better with the low-whorl spindle, and that’s the main point.

Now, for the (spinning & knitting) things that are distracting me from my Olympic projects:

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Revontuli is still growing. It’s more portable than the Hedgerow mitts, because of the bulk of the unknitted yarn, and it doesn’t require much attention any more.

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(Crud. This picture is out of focus in addition to being a flash-in-semi-dark-room shot. But it’s already 20 minutes after I said I was going to go offline, and I’m exhausted.) This is the silk I’m spinning on my travelling spindle. I’m pretty sure the colorway is Wood Elves; it’s the little bit of extra stuff that Josette stuck in with a big custom order last fall. I’m enjoying spinning it really fine, so the plan is to use it as embroidery thread.

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And these are my Good Fortune batts, which I started spinning last….January? I finished and wound off the singles in October, when I thought my Victoria was going to be going on a field trip. Plying on the wheel is so very much smoother than my low-whorl plying right now, even with a regrettably clacky bobbin.

Interesting.  Much more green/brown skewed than I’ve been spinning and knitting recently.  Now, it’s time for bed and for hoping very, very hard that we continue to get rain for the next few days, with no accumulating snow whatsoever.

I’m feeling sorta blah today, despite having “gone” “running” this morning and having had a very nice lunch. So I figured I’d post a cheery, sunlit picture of Mel being a weaving assistant last weekend.

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I’ve only got fringe-twisting left on the stole/scarf thing.  And I’m about halfway done with my Olympic knitting project, though I’m nowhere near done with the plying.  Ah, well.

Last week was weird.  And this past weekend didn’t go at all according to plan.  (I’m fine, but Stuff Happened, and I’m not quite ready to share photos of the better bits of Stuff.)

So here’s a picture of the Biopond from yesterday, taken as I was on my way back to lab from getting lunch:

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We’re getting more snow today, but it’s supposed to not be more than an inch or so.  Thank goodness.  (My boots are not so comfy that I want to keep wearing them!  And I don’t have sneakers at the moment, so the boots are the only totally closed shoes I own.)

• I stayed in my apartment for the entire weekend, not dealing with Snowpocalypse Part I until the streets and sidewalks were relatively clear.  It was wonderful.  (And the cold is nearly gone.  Neither decongestants nor more than four tissues today!)

• I am not looking forward to Snowpocalypse Part II, which should start any minute now.  I don’t really care for more than a couple of inches of snow in places where the sidewalks don’t get cleared.

• On the other hand, lots of snow can be awfully pretty or otherwise interesting-looking.

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• Part of what I did on Sunday was warp my loom and start weaving a stole for my mom:

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(This is a mid-warping picture, when the afternoon sun was filling my living room.)

• Mel was being a pest the other day. (Surprise, surprise, a cat being a pest…) So I moved the bin of fiber that had been on the Lendrum-spinning chair in hopes that he’d at least not knock so much stuff over. This had the lovely side benefit that I actually spun on my Lendrum. I love the wheel, but the chair that fits with the Victoria is also the right height for the table on which I keep my laptop… Anyway, I had started spinning some Coopworth roving from Beth at The Spinning Loft. I’d been spinning it relatively finely, I think so that I could keep it as even as possible, and I wasn’t enjoying it much. When I picked it up again the other day, I went for long draw and had it drafting itself. It’s bumpier, but it’s pretty soft, and I think it’ll make a nice, squishy 2ply. Much better.

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(Sorry the picture isn’t better. There isn’t sun in that corner in the morning, and I didn’t want to deal with moving the wheel. It’s a lovely dark brown wool.)

• I’ve also been spinning some Polwarth on the Victoria, Pandora from David’s January club fibre.

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• I got an e-mail this morning from my vet’s office, saying that it’s Mel’s birthday. (They’re also the vet for the woman who fostered Mel and his mom, so they have better records of his first few weeks than I do.) He’s now a five-year-old adorable pest. Amazing.

• Mel used to be tiny!

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• I think I’ll go sit by him and weave for a bit.

I blame part of the delay, at least, on the nasty head cold I’ve been fighting this week.  (In one day, I used at least a third of a box of tissues.  I stayed home on Thursday (the Day of Many Tissues) and couldn’t really think about anything.)

So here’s this week’s intended eye candy, with a few more rows than it would’ve had yesterday morning:

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Revontuli is much, much easier now that I’m past the setup chart. And it’s still really soft. (I am pleased.)

And an extra bonus, since there’s all this fresh snow around now:

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“What’s so interesting about this white stuff that’s blocking my view? Why are you not paying attention to me?”