Friday, September 01, 2006

Long time no post. Well, life (and work) go on. I am still recovering from the flu and the Bear has got it too but refuses to give in to it. I had to power-nag to get him to even take cold medication which he admitted did make him feel better. Men. Can't live with them, can't live without them (at least I can't). I have been serially monogamous for 36 years and I just like being married.

Book report: I finished Voyages of Delusion, which was my BBB. I found it all very educational because you aren't taught a lot about the finer detail of European exploration of northern North America. We all learn about the myth of the Northwest Passage but not the nitty-grityy of how it was un-discovered, which is what this book covers. It also goes into the detail of the political climate in Europe and some of the rationale behind these voyages. Here we meet "theoretical geographers", those who drew imaginary maps and then sent people out to find the lands they had drawn on the map. Such was the search for Terra Australis, which Cook debunked (someone had imagined there were 5 million people living on this theoretical continent!). So there are lots of maps showing a passage from Hudson Bay to the Pacific through imaginary lakes. Not only were the lakes imaginary but they mis-estimated the continent's width by 1000 miles and knew nothing about the Rocky Mountains. In all, very interesting. Not riveting but that's why it's a BBB.

S's Christmas jumper has the front finished and I am starting on the back. Knitting for children is fun because the project goes fast. I finished the first of my Meielenweit Cotton Fun socks and cast on the second. I use a technique for wide sock tops of casting on double the number of stitches needed and then knitting 2 together on the first row of ribbing. The Bear has diabetes and his socks must be loose. I am spinning some left over purple wool and trying for further fineness. I have won 2 ebay auctions, one for 50 gms of plucked white cashmere and one for some cream alpaca. The cashmere arrived yesterday and is lovely. The vendor apologized for some VM by giving me an extra 10 gms! Much longer staple than I expected from cashmere, but the ladies at the Bendigo show cashmere tent said short fibre is not a characteristic of Australian grown cashmere. This seems to prove it.

I've also become intrigued by spindles. I adore my Roberta but it can be tetchy about draw in and I have my concerns about spinning short fibres on it. I like the idea of the portability of a spindle and it's something I could take anywhere, like socks are. (BTW, I am reading Stephanie's Knitting Rules! and everything she says about sock knitting is true. Especially the addictive nature and the fact that sock knitters don't count sock wool as part of their stash. I went through the entire craft fair saying "there is sock yarn over there but I'm not looking") So today I took myself off (electronically) to Carolina Homespun and ordered a spindle, and while I was there, a book and a sample of bamboo.

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