Stasia's Place Of Grace


Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Thankful for...

Sandwiches cut in triangles. They taste better that way.

A growth which appeared on Valentine's gum isn't anything to worry about, according to his doctor.

The trees in the tiny orchard we planted have yielded their first apples. One may even be edible!

Today In My Fibery World...

Today I took Fiona and Valentine (dogs) to the vet. Tomorrow I will take Dill and Abby (cats). I am not strong enough to take them all at once, nor to do much else on vet appointment weeks. The cleaning day I wrote about a few days back took a lot out of me, too... that's more cleaning than I typically can get done in three weeks!

So I'm trying not to push myself in other areas of my life, and instead have been resting up a bit and thinking about where I'm going with my works in progress:

  • I un-did the neck of the gray cable "Welcome Back, Old Friend" sweater a second time. I decided that if this was to be the sweater of a lifetime (it will probably be the last one I'll be able to knit), I wanted to be able to wear it without regretting not taking the time to correct something that bothered me. It will only take a few days to fix it up, and I'll have the sweater for the rest of my life, so... why not?

    The neck was bugging me because it was too wide. So I decided to do the back section in a K1, p1 rib to tighten it up a bit, while still allowing it to be stretchy enough to fit over my head.

    I knew there was a reason I wasn't going ahead with the seaming - it was this nagging feeling of not being satisfied with the neck that was preventing me. I'm glad I'm re-doing it now. It pays to listen to that little voice inside!

  • I turned both heels of both Meilenweit "Halloween" socks. (They are color number 617, for those who have asked!) They are light purple, dark purple, orange, and khaki colored.

    I did a twisted rib up the center of the top of the socks, just for interest. I goofed in that I did not offset this patterning with a couple of purl stitches before and after it, but I'm not re-doing these as I'm already past the heels. A couple of washings and they'll fluff up and it'll just look like a vertical stripe. The little voice is silent on this one, thank goodness.

  • I finally plied the qiviut, bison, and Navajo-Churro wool for Jeff's "North American Hunting Socks" (North American animal fiber, North Amerian hunter.) As I mentioned before, he will not hunt this year so they're not necessary, but I still would just like to get them out of the way.

    I have left this yarn on nosties and on a bobbin for months and months. It was difficult to ply because of that.

    Also, I think my cat had used the yarn on the bobbin for dental floss - it wasn't pulled off the bobbin, but there were a couple of areas where strands kept running out in short sections - I think he gnawed through a section, as I kept getting these annoying three-foot long segments that would just end as I was plying, causing me to make a big tangled mess out of the other singles as I set them down to find another loose end on the bobbin.

    I learned my lesson about leaving projects sit for a long period of time, and hope to stick more closely to a "one project at a time" rule from now on. I see that I'm currently working on four things, but hopefully two will be complete rather soon.

    I ran out of Navajo-Churro singles so it looks like I will have to spin more (on my Ashford Traveller with lace flyer at the 40:1 ratio). I dislike the fiber, which I processed myself; it is very kempy and short-stapled, it spins a very woolen-type yarn with big bumps, and it completely covers up the beautiful, soft bison and qiviut plies. But it's what Jeff wanted - traditional, North American animal fiber. I'm lucky he didn't decide to have me spin muskrat fur!

    Hopefully I will have enough plied yarn to complete the socks after spinning just a bobbin-full more of the NC wool singles and then plying that with the qiviut and bison I have left. It is a lot of very fine, very bland yarn to have to spin, and it isn't particularly fun as I have to concentrate on the downy fibers more than if I were spinning some kind of prepared blend.

    If I had it to do over, I surely would card all three of these fibers together at one time. I think I didn't do it that way as I wasn't sure how much I'd need, and I didn't want to waste the bison and qiviut. It still feels like a waste to use it with this Navajo-Churro.

    Anyway, the resulting three-ply yarn has sort of a dark brown and gray ragg-type look, is fairly soft but still quite strong, and will of course be incredibly warm.

  • I am hooked on support spindling now and have another porcupine spindle (this time with a white ceramic whorl instead of a black one), and a new wooden-shafted support spindle with a green and cream spiral on the ceramic whorl. It looks "spiral-y" when it spins, too, and is really neat. They are all by the same maker, whom I've tried to contact to see if they make anything else!

    I have been support-spindling spinning cashmere that I've been hoarding for a year or so... why wait any longer? I mean, I don't have a project in mind for it (maybe a lace scarf?) but it is too nice not to use with these fun little spindles. Although the process is very slow, it is a lot of fun and the resulting yarn is very fine and soft. I hope it will hold together when I ply it. The cashmere is from Rovings in Canada.

    I am now able to either spin a bunch and then "use up my twist" by holding the spindle still as I draft, or, occasionally, to draft at the same time the spindle is spinning - but this causes the spindle to lose its momentum much more quickly so I don't do that often. It also makes a poofier yarn, not a smooth one like the stop-and-draft method.

  • I am considering getting wood bits to make a little stand to ply the cops from my support spindles, and also to get supplies to make a cone holder for my weaving yarns. I am getting interested in weaving again, now that the weather is cooling down and the sun is setting earlier... makes evenings in my wool room more attractive when there aren't long evenings to sit outside...

So I guess what I'm doing is just sort of hoarding away my fibery thoughts like acorns, to see me through the coming cold months. We have had frost on the ground here in Wisconsin already. Local farmers now have their pumpkins for sale. And last night, we had a harvest dinner of a roast organic chicken, fresh soybeans, and squash with maple syrup. Yum! And I cooked it all myself! Wow!

Fall is definitely in the air. I hope you are storing up your acorns of hopes and dreams for the coming months, too!

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Stasia is a knitter, spinner, weaver, writer, reader, and musician from Wisconsin, USA.

Join her here as she journals about beauty in nature, the joys of fibery pursuits, special people and pets, and great places to shop. It's her hope you'll leave spiritually inspired and creatively motivated. Thanks for visiting!

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A Special Day Today I have something really speci...
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