Monday, March 10, 2008

Here is the yarn that was forced on me at work. There is enough total to knit a jumper. But this is the first addition to the stash since 2006, not counting handspun and sock yarn. On the right was yet another surrender to the lure of beautiful roving, this time from Laughing Rat Studio in my former stomping ground in the US. We have, left to right, superwash merino, Shetland, and Corriedale. Yes, I said no more fibre, but I couldn't resist. I need my spinning mojo back. I'm almost finished the Regia socks and will then dive into big winter projects

I thought I'd give you an idea of what the results have been from my latest round of cleaning white alpaca. Yes, those locks are 8" long and silky and beautiful. I can only guess the animal missed a shearing which is why they are so long. They were just as filthy as the rest of the white alpaca and despite flick carding them before washing, the ends still stuck together. When I do the next lot of this, I'll cut the tips off since now I know that even if they go in open, they come out stuck together. I think I only have 1 1/2 trash bags of white, two of chestnut brown and one of black. I'll probably have to cut these locks unless they spin easily from the lock because they are too long for the drum carder.

After all my talk about my garden I thought I'd post a couple of photos even though it's in its last stages. At left are my two raised beds, the right one full of beans, the left has tomatoes down the end, eggplant in the middle and my now-deceased flat Italian beans. There is a cantalope at the front which I planted late when my cucumbers died, and miracle of miracles, it has produced a rockmelon (what Aussies call a cantalope) but a baby, about the size of a large grapefruit. In the rear is the pear tree and to the left of that is the asparagus bed. The right hand photo shows part of the rest of the garden: tomatoes, pumpkin (butternut squash) which produced 7 large pumpkins, another cantalope running with it. At the back are my limas which were so vigorous they practically pulled down tomato stakes. If you could see to your right, you'd see the "herb garden" which consists of a lemon verbena, sage, oregano, and a humongous bay tree that I need to take the chain saw to. It was just a sprig when we planted it. If you could look left you would see my strawberry patch and where the zucchinis just died of mildew. Behind you would be the 3 plum trees.

I have not done most of what I planned over this long weekend because of two thing: pain and heat. Every day that I spend time on my feet, whether it's shopping, moving my loom into its new location and tidying up the proto-studio, my legs kill me the next day. Only bed rest and Neurontin help and enough Neurontin and I'm too sleepy to concentrate. I think I need to see my rheumatologist to see whether there's any solution. My right wrist is also very sore, in the same place that I had the frozen thumb.The heat (we're over 30C for the next week) means painting walls becomes difficult since the paint dries on the brush or roller before it reaches the walls. Same problem with stripping wallpaper. This is the weather we should have had in February.

One last tidbit: I now have a link on my page to Kiva, an organization that takes small donations and turns them into loans for people in third world countries to start or expand businesses. I don't know where I stumble on their web site but I made a small donation to a group of weavers in Guatemala and I was just told their loan had been fully subsidized and they are on their way. Small donations make big things happen.

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