small and fuzzy


I’ve been home for nearly two weeks now, but it’s gone by amazingly quickly. Oh, especially because I went to Massachusetts over the weekend, mostly for the Sheep and Wool festival.

I’m still working on labelling my photos from Europe, but here are a few from since I got back.

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Japanese maple

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If things go more or less as planned, I’ll have a post on Venice up tomorrow.

The title refers both to the fact that I think I’ll be back to blogging more regularly now that I’ve basically finished school stuff and packing/moving stuff (unpacking is a different question, but it’s less urgent) and to the welcome I got from the weather here in Vermont:

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That’s looking out toward the deck and backyard, a few minutes ago.

This next photo is from last Tuesday, in Philly:

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Just a little different, there… But I don’t have to go anywhere today, so the snow and wind aren’t a problem.

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As far as fiber, I’ve finished a batch of spindle-plying and started a new set of AbbyBatts:

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And I finally finished knitting my Hedgerows of Screams:

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(Photo taken before moving.)

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Also, thank you to everyone for congratulations on my defense. (WP had some comment-emailing hiccups, and I got caught up in an extra experiment for my paper as well as moving stuffs, but I do appreciate your comments.)

Random Wednesday is a good way to try to catch up, right?

Anyway. Stuffs. I’m still working on revisions to my thesis, but I’ve got a few other things to share here.

First, the weaving I learned in that class I went to Michigan for:

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I had a fantastic time that weekend, despite the stresses of all that driving (after a couple months of not driving at all). It was great to get to hang out with fiber people, and really fun to learn something totally new. Also, though SE Michigan and NW Ohio are kinda disturbingly flat, I’m glad I got to see them, and it was good to get to see the scenery around Pittsburgh again. It’s been quite a while since Pittsburgh was the nearest big city, but I used to see those hills on a pretty regular basis. (Philly, though less freakishly flat than the parts of Michigan near the highways I took, does not have scenic hills. Except in the northwestern bits, but those only sorta count, because they’re smaller hills and I rarely see them.)

…And some yarn:

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This is a batt from Enchanted Knoll Farm, in the Titania colorway, made from wool from Josette’s sheep. Very, very nice.

…And a happy cat:

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Mel turned six last week, and he got to spend part of the day sitting in the sunshine, with the warm air from the fridge as an extra treat.

…the “Hey, look! Stuff!” edition.

Also known as the “work-writing has taken most of my words” edition.

So I present some of the things I’ve been doing to de-stress over the last couple of months.

Spinning:

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Each of these skeins is ~2.5 oz, for that mixed-handpaint sweater. Actually, the bottom one is the one that showed up a few weeks ago on the bobbin.

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Cheviot plying ball. Will probably grow up to be a pair of socks. I’m hoping the orange dominates over the purple.

Weaving:

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My first attempt at warping from a warping board, and my first all-handspun item. It’s too short to be a table runner, even, so it may just be a wall-hanging by wherever I put my loom in my next home. (It’s less than 4oz, because it’s all from one braid of polwarth in Pandora, from Southern Cross Fibre; 2ply warp & pseudo-thick-and-thin singles for weft.)

…and Cat-Entertaining:

Mel has a new favorite napping spot

He seems less fond of the tuner as a napping spot now that I’ve taken to piling my shawls/hat closer to the right-hand speaker. He still sits there sometimes, to supervise dinner, but he’s gotten comfortable enough with Being Downstairs that he’s started sitting on the couch with me, even when my housemate’s cat is within sight on her couch, on the other side of the room.

San Diego photos will be up eventually. I think.

Today’s translation of “random” post: “Hey, look! Pictures!”

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Mel, wondering why I kept shining lights in his face. (Mostly the autofocus thingy.)

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Oscar, one of the cats I’m co-catsitting for Min.

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Oscar again.

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Felix, Min’s other cat.

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Felix “pretending to be cute”, as Min put it.

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Mel, far enough away from the camera that it’s not disturbing him. (This was a couple of weeks ago, when it was cooler.)

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Knitting! I’m making good progress on my sunflower shawl, thanks to the knitters’ housewarming I attended on Saturday and the Momix show I attended on Sunday. (Yes, it’s tricky to knit lace in a dark theater, but I only made one mistake. And I was exhausted, so the fidgeting helped counteract the darkness-with-soothing-music. It helped that I was on the aisle, so I could use the emergency lights in the stairs to read my (backlit) stitches.)  Please pretend I vacuumed before taking that photo.  I meant to, but I couldn’t bear to disturb Mel, who was napping peacefully a couple feet away.

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And on my way to Min’s yesterday evening, I stopped at the pet-supply store, mostly to ask about the cat-for-adoption (from a local rescue org) whom I hadn’t seen recently (he’s been adopted, and seems to have taken to his new family quite nicely).  I wound up chatting with the storekeeper, though, because she asked about my Mirah shirt, and whether it meant I was going to Mirah’s show at the Unitarian Church next month.  I’ve now checked the R5 show listings, and I’ve found two I want to attend: Mirah, even though she’ll be here the Monday after I move, and Stars.  I’m sorta happy and sorta frustrated, since I haven’t had lots of spare energy lately even without concerts…  (Also, I wish they were at World Cafe Live instead of the Church.  I like being able to sit at shows–it means I can see better, and it means I can knit more easily.  And WCL has better (i.e., palpable) air conditioning.)

So….I’ve continued to spin kind of a lot.

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Superwash batts from Enchanted Knoll Farm, in Gold Dust Woman and Jester/Chestnut (with Mel because someone on Ravelry complained that GDW wasn’t as nice without him).

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Superwash top from Enchanted Knoll Farm, in Fawkes (I will need more of this colorway.)

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Polwarth from Southern Cross Fibre, in the January club colorway Pandora. I’m much happier with this round of thick-and-thin, and I’m considering making a scarf with the 2ply as warp and the thick-and-thin as weft.

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And, on Saturday, I finished (the singles of) this sorta long-term spindle project (2oz of merino/bamboo in Sumac, from Spunky Eclectic), which is now ready to ply (on the wheel, as soon as I finish plying that plying ball I showed last time, and maybe a couple of smallish batts that are also waiting to be plied).

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The bouquet I bought last Wednesday is still pretty and making me smile to see it.

And I’ve continued to knit some on Revontuli, because it’s really good socializing-knitting. But I’ve been wanting to knit on something that grows a little faster than Revontuli but which I’m not making up (like the chai/phoenix shawl) or modifying (like the Hedgerow mitts). Just for fun. So I cast on another shawl.
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This is Springtime Bandit, in Acero from Brooks Farm, which I think I bought a year and a half ago at Rhinebeck. I cast on and got through the setup chart last night. As long as the wavy edge blocks out, I think I’ll really like it.  And I’ll at least kinda like it anyway.  It’s been lovely to see how much color variation is in that yarn–I’d totally forgotten.

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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