Monday, January 22, 2007

Spinning right along

*dubby-dum dubby-dum* footloose and fancy free. Getting there is half the fun, come share it with me. Yeah. Okay, Muppet Movie soundtrack off now. Of course, I'll have that song (their version, not mine) in my head all day now. Maybe even all week. Sorry, it couldn't be helped.

That is pretty much what I've been up to all weekend. Spinning. I'm trying to get the hang of mohair top. I learned on Romney and that is all I've done. I felt like I got the feel of Romney, though to be fair, I don't have many uses for Romney. It is a bit coarse for my tastes, though it does have its uses, make no mistake. I'm VERY sensitive to the scratchy wool thing, though, which is one of the things I had to overcome with knitting. Learning that there are actually soft, NON-scratchy wools. Who knew? LOL Anyway, mohair certainly is different and since I am doing this on my own, unsupervised if you will, I am feeling pretty insecure about it. I don't have any friends who spin, although I belong to a mailing list for spinners. If I can ever get caught up on my email, I'll ask them for support. (Note to self: get caught up on email!)

I'm working on this lovely bit of roving called Northern Lights that I got from Pacific Wool and Fiber. I also got the Ruby Red (not in my picture, just mentioned in a previous post) from them as well. I love the feel of it all, it is just different to spin. This colorway is really lovely; black, brown, turquoise, bits of purple, blue and even white/cream. It isn't what I thought it would be (the website didn't have a photo of it when I ordered it), but I do like it. I'll probably use the Northern Lights for some socks. The Ruby is set for a bag for my grandmother, although, I love the color so much, I might have to a) get more for me or, b) find a different red for her. I'm thinking choice A at this point. It is a really nice shade for me, a nice blue undertone. Since I'm so pale (skin and all that white hair), I'm very picky about reds. Well, colors in general, but that is a whole different rant. Trust me, I've got a serious color rant. LOL

Anyway, we had a fairly quiet weekend. The girls are sort of sniffly, and I thought it a good idea to keep things low-key this weekend. I recaulked the bathtub, woo-hoo (not, but there was a leaky spot), and generally washed everything that could be washed (dishes, clothes, car, etc.) Since our New Plan of more eating at home, I've been planning menus (a first for me) by the week. The kids refuse to eat most of it, which makes me feel great, especially since Himself works late more nights than he is home. So I'm the only one making a dent in the food that is taking so much of my time to make. What I'm trying to say is, we had a left-over sort of weekend as well. Mind you, I enjoy cooking, I'd just like an appreciative audience. I admit, the 6 year old tries it all and eats some of it, it is the 4 year old who is the problem. And well, she's 4. I think that 4 = problem child, at least when it comes to food.

School is back in full-swing. Now that the snow and ice has moved on, no more late starts (which were very nice for me) and no more snow days (the public schools are all frantically trying to work out make-up days). I'm back in my regular routine of Information Literacy tours for classes and also trying to hire two new student employees. Today. I've got 8 solid applicants, which means I have to sift primarily by schedule availablity. I hate it when it comes down to that. Oh well, then I have the fun of training to look forward to. Maybe just some pointy sticks in my eye instead. No? Well, in my hand maybe. That should take the edge off.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Howdy New Year

Wow. I had no intention of skipping new posts, but you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men! I hope everyone had a lovely New Year celebration, or hibernation, whichever you prefer. Schools back in session, students are everywhere. I'm hiring new student employees for the library, so lots of interviews right now. Boy, they are exhausting! Then the training & balance that with info literacy tours for classes. I am BUSY at work! But it is fun again, now that things have settled down a bit in my little library.

We've been inundated with icy cold weather here, so lots of random snow days, late opening days at school, REALLY BAD TRAFFIC and such. Most of us got very small amounts of snowfall, but Seattle (the general metro area) is NOT prepared for snow/ice that does not melt within 24 hours. It rarely happens, since we are at sea level, and so when a major storm hits and stays for a week or more, well, the city does not do well. ("the city" here means Seattle proper, all the infrastructure meant to deal with traffic conditions and the immediate surrounding suburbs. Folks further removed from Seattle proper probably fared much better overall for all I know.) I had numerous commute times of over 2 hours each direction, that is double (or more) my normal commute time. I did not have fun. Although, I did get to listen to lots of podcasts, so it wasn't all time wasted.

For my birthday, Jan 7th, I got a Zune and I've been busy loading all sorts of musical and podcasty goodness to listen to while I travel and, sometimes, while I work. I'm enjoying it and I love the fact that I can load a bazillion pictures in it as well. I've been listening to some new podcasts these days, among them, The Butcher Block, which is a podcast for one of my favorite authors, Jim Butcher (an all-around awesome guy and a great writer). His first (book) series, The Dresden Files (genre is urban fantasy), is going to air as a series on Sci-Fi Channel starting January 21, so everyone tune in & watch it! Jim rocks and, by all accounts, so does the show.

On more crafty fronts, I finished the quilt square and, of course, forgot to take a picture. >sigh< I was doing so well for a while. Anyway, I got it finished and turned in for the quilt, which was a relief. It was, all in all, a bit boring to work on since all of these quilts are using patterns of a similar style. The pattern may change, but the look/feel is always the same. Oh well, I didn't do it for me or my own pleasure, AND it got me through to the point where I can knit again.

I've been spinning quite a bit the past couple of weeks. I finished the Romney all up and got in an order of some Merino top in ruby red and also in a colorway called Northern Lights. I'm working on the Northern Lights first. I've never spun Romney and it is very different from Merino. More experienced spinners are laughing right about now I'm sure. By the end of the Romney, I felt I was getting pretty darned good at managing it. Picking up the Merino is almost like starting all over again. I feel pretty rediculous, but, I'll just keep at it and eventually it will all sort itself out. I figure spinning is a bit like knitting, there's a right way, lots of other right ways and a few wrong ways. You can tell if you've done it right by whether or not you like the finished product. (Yes of course there is technically a correct way, but if I let myself worry about that now, I'll never accomplish anything with my spinning.) I have decided that I need to find time to find a spinning group. There are two that meet monthly fairly close to where I live, it is just finding/making the time to get there. There is another group that meets more often, but they are so far south, I just can't imagine making the time to make that trip when there are other options (even if they meet less often).

Yes! Knitting is happening again! I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have needles and yarn in my hands again. It is crazy. I've picked up the Knucks glove for my husband again and it is wonderful. I'm over halfway done with the fingers, so while he didn't have them for the cold spell we've been having, maybe I'll still finish them up before too long. Hmmm. Maybe a Valentine's Day gift. I'll have to see how much knitting time I can squeeze in. I'm pretty keen to be back knitting again, so that shouldn't be too much trouble. Sadly, all the down time I've had led me to think up projects that would be fun to knit. I think I have way too many things on my mental plate right now & I really need to get them sorted out: Real Projects vs Dream Projects (e.g. those that will never really see the light of day, or needle and yarn as the case may be). Still, my energy level for knitting is very high right now. Notice that I qualified it to "knitting"? Well, I don't want to do any false advertising now, do I?