Odds 'n' Ends
Last Thursday was my birthday and I got this big box of Ghiradelli chocolate from son Ian and ddl Lisa, who live in Arizona (except Lisa is in Missouri during the academic year getting her PhD.)
I have enjoyed it tremendously, taking a brief hiatus from my "Just-for-Today-I-Will-Not-Eat-Anything-I-Shouldn't-Eat" diet. I'm proud to say it's been Today for about 8 weeks and I've lost 8 pounds. Of course, a wee bit of chocolate here and there has been a "should eat."
Other gifts included this sweet smile of Sophia's (who has been diagnosed with GER, acid reflux, hence, the misery and crying):
For two long periods during my caretaking time with her on my birthday, Sophia was a Happy Baby, gifting me with smiles and coos, the very first I've seen in all these weeks.
She seemed to enjoy watching the spindle spin that day, too.
Sophia's parents gave me wind chimes, silly picture holders and a wine rack for the organic wine I gifted myself.
Speaking of gifting myself, there was much yarn....no pictures, it's all stashed. RiverWools offers a 20% discount on one purchase in one's birthday month and early on in the month I had my spree. I bought more Noro Blossom, a selection of La Gran mohair, five colors of Harrisville, two colors of Cascade 220 I didn't have, another set of Denise needles (to replace the set I "borrowed" from my daughter) and some new crochet hooks which are more ergonomic than the ones I have.
And then on my actual birthday, I had the nerve to go in and buy more yarn because Martha had gotten in new stuff since my birthday splurge: Noro Iro in amazing greens/blues/grays, Noro Kujaku, SWTC soy silk and soysilk/wool.
As for current work, I finished the Bloom Shawl and I love it, though it does seem a bit small for my shawlish preferences. I didn't have a lot of space for blocking, so perhaps did not stretch it as big as it could be. The neckine seems like it needs a Little Something, so I may weave a ribbon through it as the designer suggested. In any case, it is just the loveliest thing, despite my little kvetches, and all who have seen it have oohed.
I am spinning up this hand-dyed Corriedale on my drop spindle, planning a new covered pot with the working name of Sunsetroses Pot. I am trying to be mindful during this spinning, in a way that will allow me to be open to many possibilities for the yarn.
About my spindle: This is the first spindle I bought, back in 1990 or '91 - I bought two actually. They are homemade Turkish-style drop spindles and I really can't seem to spin as I like on any other kind. I bought these from a wonderful lady from Wisconsin named Lucy. I cannot remember how I found her, but think it must have been from a magazine ad.
I ordered the spindles and wool as a project for our homeschooling. I was Waldorf-inspired in many ways, so handwork and natural fibers were important to the things we were doing. I thought it would be interesting for the kids to see where yarn came from - even though we lived in Miami and wool was pretty much not on the clothing menu. Well, the kids weren't very interested in spinning at all, but I became besotted.
The nice Lucy wrote a whole two pages of instructions for me, sent me all kinds of wool, in batts and some....gulp...raw. I discovered quickly that I want to go only so far back in the process, and my preference is to spin from combed wool rovings. For many years I was able to order pounds and pounds of vegetable dyed roving (and other interesting goodies) from Kathleen Smith at Textile Reproductions, but I believe she no longer sells at retail. So for about 2-3 years, I spun only using these spindles, and I am still somewhat astonished at just how much I managed to spin.
I love these spindles so much and worry that some day they will just wear out. I recently got an Ashford Turkish spindle and was relieved to discover that I can spin with it just fine. Not sure why I seem to have a problem with other spindles though. Also, I just LOVE that you don't have to rewind the wool from the spindle - Turkish spindles actually pull apart and leave you with a nifty center pull ball all wound. With a bit of care, you can immediately ply it on the spindle you just put back together.