Monday, October 23, 2006

A Time to Spin, Part 3: The not-quite-exponential stash increase

The pink roving is now all spun up, and currently looks like this, on my poor man's bobbins:

The roll in the front with the least amount is what I spun the first day I bought the spindle, included here for comparison. I'm relatively pleased. This was all spun on the carved clay low-whorl spindle.

I'm currently tackling the rest of the Cosmic Pluto roving from the spinning class last month:

On the top whorl is most of the rest of the colourway that produced my first skein. However, this second batch of roving was obviously sitting in a better place in the dyepot, because the colours are far more vibrant. That makes me happy. Since I want it to look mostly like the mini-skein produced in the class, I will spin it all up onto this spindle and make it into 2-ply.

On the carved clay spindle is the second colourway of roving bought at the class. I'm trying a bit harder for consistency now, and purposely breaking and rejoining when it gets too thin. I'm still not very good at joins. I do it five or six times and it still breaks and then I get frustrated, and it ends up being ugly and lumpy. I briefly thought I would ply the pink roving together with this, but looking at them together, I think not. The pinks are different enough that I think the pink roving would dull this down too much, and I really like this, even if it does make me crave gelato.

And since I didn't go to Rhinebeck when it seems like everyone else did, and I do mean everyone, I stopped by Lettuce Knit on Friday (which sent a large contingent) and bought some consolation wool that I've had my eye on for a few weeks (if you love it let it go, if it comes back it's yours... well, it didn't come back, but it was still there, so now it's mine):

Over the last month, while I've continued to try and avoid work, the spinning stash has increased dramatically. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are several pictures of lumps of fibre goodness, many of which look similar in their whiteness, but I can assure you they're not. First is the Almost-White Alpaca, which I might ply with the pink roving or with the gelato yellow/pink roving. Or not.

There's the Brown Shetland, which I might ply with The Fleece. Or not. They are similar, but different, and a plied colour probably needs to either compliment or contrast, but most definitely not clash. I'll decide when I start spinning it and have them both out side-by-side.

The only certain thing is that this white superwash will be plied with the grey superwash, because, well, superwash. You know.

And finally, because I'm crazy and have no idea when I'll even get an appropriate spindle for it let alone feel comfortable enough with my spinning to give it a try, there is Silk Noie...

...and some dyed silk hankies:

My master plan is to ultimately buy at least two more drop spindles, one small and light, the other more average, both nicely finished. The unfinished edges of the whorl on the Ashford Student spindles are somewhat rough on the fibre. Whaddya think? Another, better Ashford? A Bosworth? Mmmm, Bosworth. Maybe two Bosworths, dang, those are nice. I also want good wool combs and carders. I'm thinking Christmas presents. Yep.

I also had a lead on a free, unwashed fleece, but after the initial emails, I haven't heard anything for two weeks. I'm guessing that won't happen - there were three up for grabs to the first responders, and I doubt I was one of them. But since it would be coming through a network of acquaintences, it could just show up with very little warning in a bag with my name on it. Mmmm, free fleece.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Just be glad I didn't include pictures this time.

I am rarely moved to poetry, but then, home renovations are even more rare in my world, save for the occasional lightbulb or lampshade.

Last weekend was surprisingly eventful, though, and confirmation that marriage is indeed a partnership, and crisis nearly always brings you closer. Remind me to tell the story of our first "date" sometime, which culminated at 2am on a deserted Pittsburgh street with one of us holding a tire iron and the other a jack, as the S.W.A.T. van drove by.

Good times.

And so, for my dear Daniel, I present the following. I didn't say it was good poetry, but it comes from the heart.

Ode on a Toilet Seat

For many a year, a month, a week,
we had turned a blind eye to the old toilet seat.
What I cannot see couldn’t kill me, I thought.
(Domestic Goddess, I am not.)
But on Saturday morning, just this past week
the gross-out factor reached its peak.
I got a good look where the brush couldn’t reach,
and firmly repressed an ear-splitting shriek.
So off to Canadian Tire we went,
a magical land where much money was spent.
We returned home, proud owners of wrenches (not tires)
and a new toilet seat, Some Assembly Required.
The first step, brave husband, remove the old seat,
then much cleaning and scrubbing for me, what a treat!
But the old seat removal proved no piece of cake -
it had been attached 15 years, give or take -
at that time installed, by some sick (not us) putz,
using metal bolts, and plastic nuts.
Those bolts were rusted through and through.
It was as though they’d been attached with glue.
(Glue would be easier, I thought to myself -
there’s chemicals to dissolve that stuff.)
But we crawled in behind the old toilet and tried
not to think of the state of things growing inside.
Much swearing and WD-40 ensued,
but the seat would not budge from its toilet friend true.
A couple hours later, still having no luck,
an “Aha!” from the husband as inspiration struck.
“Break the old (plastic) seat, leaving just rusty bolts,
then hit from the top, they’ll fall out with a jolt!”
With sponge, mop, and gloves, I descended in turn
to crawl in behind there and kill scary germs.
Once scoured, the new seat it’s time to attach -
So we opened it, only to find it was cracked.
Thus, back to Canadian Tire I raced
to return it, by closing, and try to replace.
My mission successful, the seat was installed
in its clean, shiny glory - clamshell pattern and all.
And as I first sat upon the new throne
and opened up a hefty tome
(for reading material was now required),
I’m certain I heard a heavenly choir.
And I said, “Hey guys, do you have to watch?
This is kind of a private moment, as such.”
The descending angels did look abashed,
for I was sitting there quite bare-assed.
And here Ends my Tail, we are wiser (a smidge),
and God help us if I look beneath that old fridge.