The backyard is teeming with life. The magnolia tree has lost all its flowers and is now green and leafy. The grass, in the patches where there is grass, is growing. The wildlife is... napping?
Springtime is hard work
I watched this squirrel for nearly half an hour, while it dozed lightly on the fence in the shade of our downspout. When it finally woke up, it made its way down the fence into the shade of a pinetree and posed for a few minutes. I particularly like this one:
This is my better side
I love how its paws are crossed in front.
With the unseasonably cool month of May and first week of June, my indigo vat has not yet started to ferment and reduce, and so it remains stubbornly blue. I've been reassured by people with experience that this is okay, as long as it isn't so cold that things frost. Nothing will happen until the weather warms up - the temperatures need to stay up for several days in a row, and the jar needs to feel as warm to the touch as a heated baby bottle. It finally got there a couple days ago, sitting in the direct sunlight in 26C (that's 79F). That level of warmth lasted a day, and now we're back to room temperature or below, and more rain. But I am patient. The sun will prevail.
I want to believe
I'm still spinning the black superwash/tussah silk batts. I recently figured out that my niddy-noddy is not only designed to skein yarn, but also measure length. If I use the short centre-stick, a full wrap is exactly one yard. Talk about a lightbulb moment. (I think the long centre-stick makes a three yard wrap, but I'll have to check, it might be two.) So now I know exactly what my yardage is. So far I have 220 yds. in singles, and an little more left from the first 38g. bag.
Niddy-noddy: Best non-essential tool ever
I guesstimate I'll get 300 yds. total from the first bag, and then I have another bag of the same amount. Since I want a 2-ply yarn to make a lacey shrug or shawl, that gives me 300 yds. total, which isn't quite enough for what I want to do. 600 yds. should do the trick.
One option is to either make a trip to Purple Purl or call Black Lamb and see if they have more of this colourway (Purple Purl is where I bought it originally, but Black Lamb had several bags of it at the Knitter's Frolic and might still have some). Or I could just go with my original plan of mixing up this black baby alpaca and more of the silk colourway myself to ply it with. I'll probably try a little of the alpaca and silk, ply a small skein and see how it goes before I start scouring the city for more baggies of Pat's Colours batts.
The last week has been, in a word, brutal. I've been trying to make progress on my proposal, and I am failing spectacularly. Things came to a head with me canceling a Very Important Meeting with Lady S. and the committee yesterday. I've never been in this situation before. I'm sure this will have administrative repercussions. It would be so easy if I didn't care. But I do care. I care very much, in fact, and I want to do this so badly - but I want to do it well, I want to do the topic justice, and I can't do that in my current state.
I've come to the realization that I need to see to certain long-term health issues, and that they can simply no longer be put off. They are affecting my every moment, waking or sleeping. Everything in my life - work, hobbies, family - is suffering for it. So, I have temporarily put my committee, my work and several other things, excepting a few small obligations, on hold. The initial appointment has been made and will happen this afternoon. It's the best I can do. It's the only thing I can do, and it has been a long time coming.
It can only get better. It will be better.