Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Purgatory of Spring

silk veils fire and waterEveryone else is probably well into spring weather by now but not those of us patiently waiting in spring purgatory (aka Maine in March) - LOL. I mean, we kind of deserve it, you know, for having so many beautiful seasons that turn and give us the splendor that makes Maine what it is called, "Vacationland". We get that gorgeous summer of thick with leaves oak and maple trees and the smell of warm pine and spruce wafting through the air. Then, in the fall we get those blazing leaves turning every fiery color imaginable and making scarecrows and pumpkins sexy. The snowy white blanket neath a spruce who's branches are heavy with freshly fallen sparkling snow. Yeah, it just wouldn't be right and just if we could skip from that to tulips blooming without the pause to consider our good fortune in what we call 'mud season'. There's still a bit of snow clinging to the yard in the areas we don't walk often but, for the most part, everything is muddy, squishy, and brown. It's enough to crush your spirit if you don't play. So, play I did. Thing 1 and I were in need of some silk veils for dance class so I made each of us a set of double half-circle veils and dyed them in some eye popping colors. Thing 1's are fire - with a gold rim so that when she whirls them they look like flames....very cool. I asked her to don her mud boots and come outside and whirl them for me but I'm assuming from the glare I got that this meant, 'no, mom,' and also, 'go away scary woman.' handspun parade Mine, big surprise are the mermaid colors - with a teal stem down the middle to look like butterfly wings. We got to try them out in the studio at class last week and felt very rich, indeed, with our own set of wings.

There's been some spinning going on in addition to the time spent cussing at the sewing machine sewing. Ur, uhm, actually, there's been a whole heck of alotta spinning going on - one last 'in the snow' shot of yarn for the season - me hopes...another snow storm at this point would just be cruel. A little close up of this purple beauty is definitely in order. These batts were made by ironjohn and sent to me as a gift.handspun parade john's 'farm-witch' I am, as ever, in awe of how I've come to know so many totally cool people through ravelry, through yarn, through the collective experience of NEEDING wool fumes on a regular basis. John made these batts for me and they are a bunch of purple corriedale with sari and angelina sprinkles love - I had to spin them right away - here's 210 yards of yummy singles in the colorway he named, "Farm-Witch". Awwww.....isn't he sweet?

handspun parade Spunky EclecticI scored some 'Estuary' bfl roving from Boogie over at Spunky Eclectic a while back. I'm working up some of it in a 2 ply for a yoke accent on a sweater but will work up 2 braids in these singles as an accent in a vest for Thing 2's birthday next Dec. Yes, I think I'm that far out in the stages of planning my fiber journeys. Can't.Stop.Thinking.of.New.Projects. Here's a family photo of a braid (have 2 more) the 2 ply for me in the back, and the squishy soft singles sitting proudly at the front.

handspun parade bfl/cotswoldI've had these hoggett black cotswold singles sitting around waiting to be plied and I've run out of bobbins (see reference to project rampant startitis above) and I NEEDED to spin up a bit of some BFL I dyed in 'Carmelita' (that will be in the next shop update) so I plied the two together. For a little added fun and texture, I spun the bfl in the 'S' direction and the hoggett in the 'Z' direction. Plying them back on each other makes the bfl really bloom and it's colors peek out from under the dark hoggett creating a mysterious mood. I think I know what I'll be doing with the rest of the hoggett and 'Carmelita' BFL! Yum!

handspun parade mermaidThere's other spinning to talk about but I just have to come right out with my really serious lust for this skein. It's 50/50 angora merino top and it is, uhm, not something you want to pet in public for the first time, just sayin'. I really tried NOT to love this stuff. Firstly, it is really, really expensive. Thing 1 touched it and said, 'oh, mom, you're going to fall in love with this stuff,' but I assured her that would not be likely. It's expensive, it's fussy to dye with - have to be very concise with your temps and it doesn't take the colors as well as some rovings so you have to be pretty concise with your color as well. Because I mix most of my own colors - that just amps up the pressure to 'oh my god, please don't let me mess this stuff up' proportions. But, then, after it was dyed, dried, and in my hands, I tried to spin in thicker than it wanted (it really wanted to be lace) just to prove I was totally above getting hooked on it. Wrong. I love it. I mean, I rub in on my neck and chest and make gestures that make the huscreature frown and say, 'man, I wish I was 50/50 angora/merino'. That's how much I've fallen for it. I need more. Lots more!

handspun parade LoribirdThen, I thought I was all out of handspun love and I got this cheery little skein of silk/merino handspun from Loribird. She's having a destash sale on ravelry so check her out and somebody please buy that twisted sister's sweater book before I give in and go back for that, too. But, keep your paws off this skein - it's mine and I lurve it to pieces.

In other news, the kids continue to be like a daily lesson in how to pull your hair out, scream like a banshee, drool on yourself because you're so exhausted but still have to be the parent in charge, and laugh so hard you have to RUN to the bathroom hoping you don't sneeze or anything. The latter would be my morning. Thing 3 has been cultivating a pretty strong interest in bonsai growing since the fair last year where he bought his first tree and met a local bonsai master. He's so into it that he's taking a class (where he'll be the only child in the classes) through said master this spring. He is most proud and excited to be let into an adult class. Part of bonsai is the atmosphere so he's been spending his allowance on the basics, bonsai scissors, etc. and on 'atmosphere'. He's looked at every pebble or bag of stones you can imagine - picking out just the right ones for each of his trees. And, he's purchased some accent decorations like statues,etc. to go on his shelf around his bonsai trees. not a chair! This billionty headed dragon statue is for the centerpiece - between his best two trees. Only, he was doubling it as a scary monster when he was playing with his figures on his bed this morning and, uh, forgot - stood up to get more figures off his shelf, and sat down on this beastie. Ouch. I mean, look at it - ouch! It is possible I am the worst mother alive because when he exited his room crying, 'Owww oww owww' and holding his backside, I was slightly horrified and really worried. When he told me what had happened and I went into his room to discover an army of figures spread all over the place with one very frightened and startled looking billionty headed dragon on his bead, I fell over laughing and could not stop. I mean, I did check and make sure he was okay first but laugh I did and I'm just sure it's cost me the mother of the year award. Dangitall!