Monday, October 25, 2010

Just so you know . . .

1. Animal crackers go pretty well with coffee. Maybe not quite as good as chocolate chip cookies or (if only . . . ) Mint Milanos, but they'll do in a pinch.

2. The word 'jeggings' should be removed from common usage instantly.  Severe and humiliating penalties should be imposed for infractions.  I do not think the current candidates for office are adequately addressing this burning social issue.

3. I have dedicated the remainder of this month to finishing things.   The table loom is empty and waiting for a project.  The rigid heddle loom has recently been stripped of this plaid table runner, which exists solely to use up some old crochet cotton:

My Rhinebeck sweater is also done.   The little bugger fits like a glove and the pattern was easy and no do-overs were required, although I got a little bored knitting the collar.

  And, for spinning, I am determined to finish my Spinner's Hill batt, which was dyed in seasonally appropriate autumnal colors.  I have 1.25 bobbins left to spin, then I'll get around to the plying.  Lots and Lots of Plying.

If (hahahahahaha!) I get the spinning finished before the 31st, then I might even resort to some quilting.  But not a lot.

I'm not sure what I'll be weaving next, although placemats come to mind since we are 6 dinner eaters and most of my placemats are (a) stained and (b) in sets of four.  The only set of 6 matching mats that I own were poorly designed and developed permanent wrinkles, kinks, and folds.  The future of spinning remains similarly unclear, although I have a nice selection of little fiber bits from Hope Spinnery that I have picked up over my last two visits to Rhinebeck.  They keep tumbling out of the fiber pile at me and I think they are trying to make a point.  Up next for knitting will be an assortment of hats and gloves for my children, who claim that they are cold.

I also plan on finishing some more work, although between the knitting and the spinning, my ongoing search for cookies, and the endless bribery and arm-twisting supervision required for the kids'  homework, I'm not sure where I'll fit that work thingy in.

4. My son has involved himself in a series of short term relationships with some of the local bugs.  His first love was a box elder beetle known as "Cutie."


I actually think that Cutie might have been three or four bugs, because one minute Matty would be searching the Lego pile for his new friend,


and the next he would be coming in from the great outdoors claiming to have found Cutie out there.   Cutie was much loved for at least six hours.  He (she?) got a house


and a trip to school, from which he returned safely sealed in a Ziploc, which is pretty much the only way that I like my bugs.

By nightfall, however, it was all over and today Matty informed me that his new favorite kind of insect was a lady bug, knows as "Cutie Ladybug Guy."  CLG was also given a home,

but he proved less than durable.  I turns out that ladybugs are NOT constructed in the same way as Legos, so if, for example, you were to remove a ladybug's wing, you probably would not be able to snap it back on.  Glue, reliable standby  that it normally is in situations of repair, is also not helpful in reassembling ladybugs.  This discovery caused great consternation and heartbreak, although we may be on the road to recovery:  I have just been told to expect a visit this afternoon from Matty's new invisible friend, "Hamburgercheesesandwichguy."

5. I harvested the broccoli from my garden last week.


There it is.  All of it.  Nature's bounty, laid out neatly on my kitchen counter. I was all set to cook it up for a light snack when I noticed this little stowaway nearby:


Closer inspection of the broccoli harvest revealed several of his freeloader friends and relations hidden therein.  Once again, not a conspicuously successful gardening year.  To sum it up mathematically: six giant broccoli plants + two little stalks harvested - a kitchen full of wiggly green wormy things = no broccoli in my garden next year.

6. I did in fact go to Rhinebeck last week.  Plagued as I was by insomnia and an unchecked need to look at EVERY booth there (big mistake; it was crowded and it there really is too much to see in one day), I still had a lot of fun and I bought some cool stuff, though not the wool combs that I was really hoping for.  Next year I will try to be a little more targeted and maybe look at the demonstrations more than the stuff.  I might also wish for some really foul weather to keep the crowds down, which pretty much guarantees that it will be sunny and 70 degrees next year.

This is the entire haul from my 2010 Rhinebeck trip, minus a big wad of purple-y wool and some buttons that were purchased for a swap basket that I mailed out Saturday. The wool all came from Hope Spinnery.  I just love the muted colors of the blends and I'm still hoping to spin this stuff (and last year's stuff, which has more reds and pinks) into something suitable for a small color work project. Mittens? Hat?  Who knows, and don't hold your breath waiting for it: I've been a real slacker with spinning this year.

The spools of white stuff are cotton and wool rug warp.  They seemed like a good idea at the time. I think I was seduced by the word "Navajo" on the wool spool.  I had visions of weaving rustic looking tapestries or stunning geometric patterns, although I see now that the spool was made in Michigan, so I may have fallen prey to a marketing scheme. The shuttle is a 9" mini shuttle, which seemed like a useful thing to go with the table loom. I originally bought a bag of 10  bobbins to go with the new shuttle (and the other shuttle that came with the table loom, so it shouldn't feel neglected), but I traded half of them to Regular Deb for a giant piece of apple pie, which I ate for dinner on the bus ride home.  There is also a brass reed hook (I could swear I heard these things called "fish" somewhere, but I can't seem to find documentation;  did I hallucinate that name?  It seems so right.) lurking at the front of the pile of stuff; it feels more professional to me than the bendy plastic one that came with my rigid heddle loom.

My favorite purchase so far is the way cool knuckle saving batt picker --not only does it do a nice job taking wool off the drum carder, it can also be used to corral wayward shuttle bobbins-- but probably it ranks so high because it is the only thing I have used so far.

7. I'm closing with a picture of my dollies.


I brought them back from Russia when I was young and single and thought they would make a pretty display piece.  Since then, each of my children has begged to play with them.  They would make up stories and games and stack and unstack them again and again. The dolls might be the one toy that all four of them loved.  I still love them too, even though some of them are looking like they might have had a little too much love.


p.s. I left the dog out in the rain for too long.  When he came in, he took his revenge by walking -- on purpose, I tell you -- straight into my office and shaking all the rainwater off of his coat and onto me, my chair, my desk and my computer.  Just for that, I'm posting this very embarrassing picture of him dressed up for a luau Matty never got around to hosting  last week.  HA!


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