Saturday, November 25, 2006

and fiber?

I have largely finished the SCRAP database entry, so I have less excuse to avoid my Christmas knitting. This will not stop me, but still.

My mother's thing is sort of a surprise (she chose the yarn. She seemed bemused that I had so many types to choose from...) but complete (pics after Christmas). I took it almost altogether apart at least three times, and now the _very_ simple lacy pattern is correct all the way through.

My daughter's gloves were not intended as a Christmas present, and they were actually finished when I picked her up on Tuesday -- I had a couple of chances to try the fingerlength on her. I hope the angora blend does not pill too much, but in any case they will feel pleasant.

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Just glovely. Thank you, Ann Budd.

So it was the Wool Tour back in October (where the responsiblity for the angora gloves lies, too) and by the end of the day and the reprise of the trip to the Fiber Studio and I was Weak and Not Thinking. My father often says he would like more colorful socks. The Taos by Crystal Palace was very colorful. I bought some.

When common sense returned (as much as it ever does), I realized the Taos was softly spun singles. The tensile strength of a scarf, NOT of size 13 socks. But so beautiful.

So I spun it again (suddenly the worsted was a sockweight) and plied it with itself (suddenly a slightly less jewel-toned bulky). It still feels like a felting disaster waiting to happen (my mother handwashes things that deserve it; I have to trust) but soooo warm and soft - not merino soft, but something with more integrity. Maybe Blue-Faced Leicester.

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From 9 o'clock: the original ball of Taos, the spool of respun singles, the ball of two-ply, the sock in progress.

The only drawback is that it's 38 stitches around, makes up so fast it's dizzying, and my father may not think I have spent enough time on his present (since I like him, a certain amount of slave labor would be okay). I was able to try the initial sock on his foot and then turn the heel ("Clog-length already," my mother said approvingly. I offered a tiny pompom but we decided to go longer) while they were here for Thanksgiving; they won't be a surprise, but we agree that fitting is better than surprising.

I have a request from a dear friend for fingerless gloves for her wife. I don't think bulky will do, but I may have time to finish them before Easter. It's better than shopping.

a quick visit with the chickens.

None of them has attacked my daughter this holiday, which is good. Spike

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Spike, who is probably an Araucana

continues to be the dominant male and a loud jerk, but the incidents of sexual assault seem to be less frequent. Or the hens just don't care anymore.
Faith crows with an inhale on the end the makes him sound like a dying bagpipe, but he's not as aggressive and I like him.

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We get two or three eggs a day, and they are small but beautiful -- bright orange yolks. I can't say they taste much different to me, but others swear they are 'eggier.'
They come in brown, white, and off-white. Doug is fairly sure Buffy and Joyce lay the white ones on the shelf above the bin.

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Buffy is the one in the middle. She is a Game Hen and looks like a velociraptor.

This leaves Ms. Callendar, Dawn, and possibly Auk laying the darker ones. These three do not flock with the others, preferring a quiet life nearer the coop.

We still haven't figured out if Auk, who LOOKS like Cochin China rooster but rarely crows and is sometimes brooding on the eggs, is a hen or not.

We lost Harmony (off-white with brown checks) last month when she flew into something, we believe, and gave herself severe spinal damage. Cordelia, the Polish, whose gender we weren't sure about either, had been avoiding the rest of the flock. She managed not to get shut in with the others that same night and has not been seen since. The crows made a terrible, unusual racket at dawn the next day...

So we are down to seven.

The other day I went to MA to get the daughter. When we arrived home, Doug, as bravely as possible, said that Joyce was missing. She is one of the layers and almost as humanized as Buffy (read that as 'eagerly exploitive.') And Doug loves her neatness. She is something like a Duckwing. We had not expected such attrition. Joyce had definitely been around at 3 pm, when I stopped in at home on the way to MA. Doug said he knew I had stopped in because the dishwasher had been running and there was chicken poop in the entry way, and indeed the living room. I was surprised because I had thought I had shooed them outside again before such disgusting events could occur. As Doug left the room, shaking his headver mortality, I saw:
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Man and hen were reunited and Joyce seemed happy to get back to the coop.

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The happy man and his chicken

Thursday, November 09, 2006

There was an election

No one seems to be mentioning it, but there was an election. It went Democratic beyond my wildest dreams. I know I will soon be disappointed because they aren't far enough left, but right now, I am wandering around feeling exhilarated. It won't Change Everything. But it may help some things, and I am getting old enough that that is pretty damn good.

Meanwhile, I bought One-Skein Wonders and started something for my mother, and realized the yarn for another project was singles and soft and unsuitable. So I spun it tighter and plied it with another skein of itself, also spun tighter, and it is slightly less colorful but much more durable. And I have almost finished my daughter's gloves, thanks to Ann Budd. I had not found any good advice about gloves the last time I looked in my library, and made nearly all of the first glove before finding this. I ripped it back. It was quite glovelike, but I like the one in the pattern better.

This weekend I am going to an archaeology conference, where I plan to use my drop spindle.