Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy holidays!

This year December has just flown by. I cannot believe that Coffeeboy and I are leaving tomorrow to visit family for Christmas, and then to visit his family for a belated Hanukah and for New Year's. Is it really that far into December already?

Part of the disbelief, I think, has been caused by the weather. A week and a half ago, it was warm enough to go for a nice hike in our beautiful mountains. The clouds and the light combined to make for a truly eerie backdrop.

Winter hike 2.JPG Winter hike 1.JPG
Winter hike 4.JPG Winter hike 3.JPG
Looks a bit like Middle Earth, doesn't it?

This weekend, however, the weather took a turn for the colder, and although it didn't snow (like the forecast said it might) in my little town, on Saturday snow did dust the ground in Asheville where Coffeeboy and I went for dinner and a "Swannanoa Solstice" concert.

I've been knitting and spinning a lot, realizing that the spinning has bitten into my plans for holiday knitting. But, I spun up the BFL from Jessica into about 220 yards. That's enough to actually make something with!

Finished BFL yarn.JPG Finished BFL yarn 2.JPG

The yarn was still quite unbalanced; I haven't quite figured out how to ply correctly. It also didn't work out to be nearly as many yards as I'd hoped; at only 220 or so yards for 8 oz, I think I made a pretty dense yarn. Oh well. I'll learn. And thank you all so much for your encouragement of the spinning!

I don't have a picture, but I think last night I did get a balanced yarn! I experimented with some plain fiber of unknown variety, only spinning enough to cover a single layer on the bobbin, and then plied it together, this time really trying not to overdo things. It worked! Let's just hope that when I return to my wheel in January, things go as well and I remember what to do!

Besides spinning, there has been a remarkable amount of Cobblestone, and remarkably little sock progress. Cobblestone has just a few inches of sleeve left before I join it all up for the yoke. Fun stuff! But now the crunch is on, and I need to finish those socks up before I can really focus on Cobblestone!

Cobblestone progress.JPG

Mock cable wave socks.JPG Retro rib socks.JPG

Thankfully, I have until after Christmas for the little red sock, and the brown/blue socks are for Coffeeboy, so that is a bit more flexible as well.

Now, the question remains, what knitting should I take with me this holiday trip? And how much work? I'll have 2 weeks worth of knitting and working and seeing family, so the question always returns, just how much is realistic? So many possibilities!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A new decade

Now that I've entered a new decade, do I feel older?

The short answer is no, not really. Turning 30 isn't that bad (despite what I've decided is a new sympathy for people trying to read menus in dark restaurants!). Many of my friends have had a lot of 3-0-angst, and I haven't suffered the same. It seems that those who have had angst have had things they're still looking for in life - feeling like they've found a career, buying a house, finding a spouse, having a kid(s).

I've never felt pressure to do any of these by a certain point, but making progress on 3 out of 4 probably eases the transition into this new decade. Turning thirty and thinking about it from this perspective does give me renewed sympathy for those who have already turned that corner (or will do so soon) and are still looking to add to that list, fill in those blanks. I have it pretty good, I think, and I'm really thankful for that. I can only wish the same happinesses for all my many friends! I'm not so sure that I'll be quite so calm when the next decade comes around - but that's not for a long while yet, thank goodness!

What did I do to celebrate, you ask. Coffeeboy and I spend the past weekend in Atlanta, celebrating in the "big city" with my/our friend Greta_Jane at Ivory Needles. We went out to eat at a yummy restaurant, went for a hike, and generally had a good time hanging out. (I'm not sure that GJ's wall appreciated being drilled into, though. We tried to put up a shelf, and in the manner of most housing projects, found that the house provided its own complications - this time in the shape of strange plaster and metal door frames. Yikes!)

My actual birthday was pretty quiet. I spent it at home, working, spinning a very little bit, and starting to listen to holiday music.

I did get some nice gifts, including a reminder that the wheel is a birthday present:

Birthday-ribboned wheel.JPG
Isn't that sweet?
My wheel was all decked out in pretty blue bows!

As for those packages that kept arriving on Friday, one of them was indeed fiber - 8 oz of reddish Corriedale. And another package was indeed a book from Amazon - Spin to Knit. Thank you, honey!

The third package, it turns out, was for me; it was just vastly larger than anticipated! I'd ordered what I thought was 8 oz. of fiber from Paradise Fibers (I typed "8" in the quantity, which to me implied "per ounce.") They sent me 8 bundles of 8 ounces each - four whole pounds of fiber, apparently by mistake! After a few thoughts of what I could do with 4 pounds of fiber (make an absolutely huge amount of yarn, enough for a couple of sweaters), the good Samaritan in me won out, and I called them to arrange to return the extra 7 bags. Because really, I'm not at a point in my spinning where I want 4 pounds of the same thing! Oh my! In return they've given me a 10% off coupon for my next order, yay! The only problem is... the UPS truck never arrived to pick up the box. I guess I'll need to call them again, hmm?