Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Finally something worth blogging about. I got a call this morning (early for me, probably not for him) from one of my Polwarth breeders I wrote to and he told me that yes he does have fleeces. Not only does he hold a few fleeces back, but they are his show fleeces so they are going to be the best. Goody! I promised to call him when we get closer to the date.

That date is more certain now because I have confirmation from the Australian National University's School of Arts that the textile unit is going to hold their night class in weaving in the first term of 2007. 15 weeks of classes on Weds nights and is open to absolute beginners and I can bring my own loom and learn how to use it. I am excited not only because I have a small stash of weaving materials, but this a craft that I can see a lot going wrong if you don't know what your doing. Not that I know when I am going to find time in the scheme of things. It will be a good place to use handspun as well.

Speaking of which I have filled my mini Bosworth spindle with camel down singles and have wound them off on my ball winder. There seems to be a lot of strongly held but conflicting information on what to do with handspindled singles. I am going to try winding them onto a TP roll on my ball winder and ply them on the Roberta. At least some people do that so it's something in my comfort zone. It is really hard to stop myself spindling. I am keeping my nose to the grindstone of J's cardigan just so I can move on sometime to a different project. I always get a mid-project slump where I lose interest as the novelty wears off the the light at the end of the tunnel is distant.

This week's fibre delivery was dark grey shetland roving from Esthers's Place (in Big Rock, Ill.) which is absolutely gorgeous. It's called "Gray Flannel" and is luscious. She tucked in samples of ther other fibres and the Cormo is really nice and the Navaho Churro much softer than others I have felt. I have never actually felt pure Angora before and it certainly is soft. I've hear about the flyaway nature of the beast so I think I'll buy it already blended. The 50/50 Cheviot lamb and mohair looks like it would make good socks.

While surfing around looking for free patterns I found this on Crystal Palace's web site and, since I picked up 2 balls of Choo-choo (in pink) in the states last year, I thought that 6 more balls wouldn't break the bank so I ordered them from The Knitting shack which actually does not charge any shipping fees even to ship to Australia. I will certainly be back. Brenda had a link to a one-ball Noro hat pattern but I haven't been able to contact the pattern owner to buy it yet. As with many, Noro is just too expensive to consider for a full projuect (I saw an afghan that called for 21 balls of Noro) but a one ball hat is more like it. I bought a couple of Knitting Pure and Simple patterns especially the top down zip front number (not the bulky one) since I want to do top-down and I'd like somebody to hold my hand while I do it.

It continues to be beastly hot. Heat makes me sleepy. I made mango jam this morning since the Bear brought me a tray of mangos on Sunday. And the berries are starting to ripen so I see more jam on the horizon as soon as I get more sugar. Everyone raves over my jams which I don't see as special except they are made from absolutley fresh fruit. Since I use Sure-jell and not the old-fashioned boil-it-to-death technique which is the norm here, folks find it miraculous that my jam doesn't taste caramelized. The mixed berry is very popular as is zucchini pickle relish.

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