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Archive for January, 2010

May 2009: Road Trip to Woodstock, CT.

In which I discovered that my Grandmother, the only grandparent I knew, had a little of the crafty going. Apparently I inherited my crazy-ass color sense from her. Or lack of.

I know! It hurts the eyes.

Promptly upon returning from said incident free road trip, in which there was lots of driving, which is why it was a road trip, my poor little car was creamed by a City of Buffalo garbage truck. While it was parked. Motherfuckers. God that was annoying.

And then there were …

SCHMITTENS!

And that just about killed June.

There seems to have been some intent to weave and knit:

Chubs relaxing on the Feather n’ Fan Comfort Shawl, of handspun wool/mohair, navajo plied. It’s in a bag somewhere. Languishing. Unfinished. It’s going to be a large and lovely shawl, but I hates me the feather and fan. And on the loom is some extremely crappy yet strangely attractive acrylic crap. Still awaiting a fringe.

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Fleece Washage!

A block of approximately 4.5 pounds of amazingly clean 1/2 Finn 1/2 who knows what fleece from the Finger Lakes. We are not going to discuss what appears to be a break, well, let’s call it a weak spot in this gorgeousness.

It mostly needs to be washed to rid itself of those pesky cats:

If you inadvertently spin a cat into your yarn, it really makes quite the slub. Some people like the “novelty” aspect of cats in the yarn, but I find they can really gum up the spinning wheel.

It’s got a really nice staple, good crimp, and is so deliciously soft. It compares to a polwarth sample we received in class.

Will try to both comb and card, and see what shakes out. Intended project is the Poinsettia Cowl.

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Huh. The Year in Review.

You know, it seems like I’m always working on something–knitting or cross stitch or something. But I cannot recall more than one or two items from the past year. Let’s review.

January/February 2009:
I guess I cast on for a modified Kimono Shawl from Folk Shawls. Ah. Yes. Here it is. It remains about half-way finished. I’d like to get back to it.

And then there was ohs homework, dying and knitting a cowl, “in the woolen fashion.” Yeah. That took a chunk of time.

It looks like there was a basket making workshop, where we made a fabulous backpack basket. This I actually finished. Because it was in a class. So I finished it.

Looks like there’s a little sock on the needles hiding in the corner there.

Oh, and we went to see the Daily Show in New York for my birthday.

March/April 2009:

For my birthday I bought Kauni yarn and cast on for the Kauni Cardigan. As is my usual MO, I got to the point of splitting for the sleeves and became frozen with indecision–how long? How long should a cardigan be? It remains a sad, but colorful, sleeveless tube.

Really should get back to that one as well.

There was a Silk Fusion class at the Weavers’ Guild of Buffalo–this was supposed to be a journal cover. Or something. It could be chopped up into bookmarks. Not even sure where it is at this point …

There were more workshops: Kathryn Alexander and Robyn Spady. And some weaving:

There was a trip out West in March:

There was a trip to New York in April:

Uppper West Side. Where we found Ethiopian on Easter Sunday.

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Almost typical exchange I have to endure from time to time:

Well Meaning Person: Oh, Are you on chemo?

Me, Always Shocked by the Amount of Tact Lacking in Ms. Joe Public: Um, No.

This is the part where I should just stop. Just stop and wait for whatever the fuck this person can say now, after opening up this almost literally* deadly can of worms. But I always continue, with either an explanation of The Truth, or as for today, just, no, I just keep my hair real short. No muss; No fuss!

Now, let’s discuss. I know you are a Well Meaning Person, but is this really any of your business? Let’s say I am on chemo. Do you think I really might want to discuss my private medical situation with a complete stranger? Maybe I’m having a bad day, and facing death right in the face, because you know, I might be on chemo, do you think I want to discuss it? Maybe I should just burst into tears right on you. And tell you my prognosis is two weeks, if I’m lucky.

Why, why, why, oh Well Meaning Person, would you address what must be such a Sensitive Topic with a Complete Stranger, in a Public Place?

The best part of these impromptu little conversations, is that the Well Meaning Person always feels if not bad, at least awkward, and as for me? Thank you so very much for reminding me of the personal demons I have wrestled since I was a child of  eight, or even further back,  if you want to go all technical and bring up the teddy bear whose fur I pulled out as a child of two. And thanks for reminding me that I have no hair, and that I wear a bandanna and stand out if not as a freak, than at least as a person who has no hair. Because you know what? I have to face myself each and every day in the mirror.

And you know what else? No freak there.  Because I am not my hair. Say it with me now. I. Am. Not. My Hair. I am happy. I am healthy. I am smart and funny and talented and clever.  I have a butt-load of friends who respect me, and adore me, and want to be with me, and who miss me when I’m gone, and who are not ashamed of me, and oh, something else? I’m not ashamed of me either.

I grew up believing I was ugly and unlovable. Freak-like, if you will. And I met the best man ever, a true Renaissance Man, who is smart and funny and talented and clever as well, and he  loves me for me, because I am not my hair.

***

* Almost Literally:

Because they brought up Cancer, and because I just might kill them.

***

Well, that was a rant.

But my favorite typical exchange is this:

Well Meaning Person: Are you on chemo/in recovery?

Me, Always Shocked by the Amount of Tact Lacking in Ms. Joe Public:

Why yes. Yes I am. From Heroin.

***

*SNAP*

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My Dear Sweet Toadie Kitty Pup.

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Well, with only two short weeks until the OHS Deadline for the 11 mini skeins, it’s time to get to work. Yesterday was spent washing not all that much fleece, but it certainly did take a chunk of time. This time I went with cranking up the water heater and soaking in the kitchen sink, with almost boiling water thrown in for giggles. Three soaks with Trader Joe’s Lavendar scented dish soap, and two rinses. It seems to have worked pretty well.

Today was a foray into combing with super fancy Alvin Ramer Dutch Combs, which consist of a small, two-pitch hackle and a one-pitch  giant comb. This included dizzing off the fiber, for perfect, perfect combed fiber.

Two passes, ready to diz:

The finished nests, dizzed and ready for spinning:

Notice the washed lock for comparison.

And finally, a super treat for me, a package of Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino. Love, love, love, that the stamp reads: Certified Work of Art.  The colorway, “We are the Champions” feeding into my current Freddie Mercury obsession.

(Need I mention that is has been so very long since I blogged that this whole blogging thing seems completely unfamiliar?)

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