Saturday, July 22, 2006

Keep on keepin' on

Suse (whom I adore) was looking for a certain colorway of Trekking (126) and it turns out that I have it in my stash. I offered to send it to her and we ended up making the whole thing into a swap, which is fine by me. She's going to send me some Australian goodies and I'll send her some local Olympian things along with the yarn. Should be fun. I can't wait until her firstborn arrives.

I got Becki's prize box a few days ago. She sent me some beautiful beaded handmade stitch markers, some milk lotion, and 2 balls of vareigated cotton (washcloths!). Lovely lovely. Thanks Becks!

I had planned to mention this earlier, but didn't for reasons unknown even to me. While my sister and I were at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR we learned how to spin on a drop spindle! I feel so talented. I'm spinning some yarn for a pair of socks using Blue Faced Leister wool. It's not dyed, but I plan to change that. I've gotten beyond making thick and thin, too. I've been studying some natural dyes available in the Western Washington area. Dye from my own backyard, pretty spiff. The spindle is from Spindlewood Co. and it was made by Steve Paulsen who is really a wonderful person. We met his wife Connie, too, but it was Steve who taught us how to spin (along with a vendor from Stick and Stone Fiberarts). We were strictly informed that it's impossible to spin and smoke a doobie at the same time. Good to know... The whorl is made from Heartwood and the shaft is made from Bubinga. I love the look of the wood, but I think the name swayed me some, too. Bubinga, bubinga, bubinga... My sister got a spindle that looks almost the same as mine. That's what we get for being almost twins.

Most of my wips are on pause. (I'm doing it, Allison!) I'm working on one thing at a time until I finish it, then I move on to the next. It's working fairly well for me, although I did crumble a bit and start a hand towel for my aunt*. I've decided that it doesn't count because it's for my dear sainted aunt who can't wear hand knit socks because her feet get too hot, won't wear a hand knit hat or scarf because she ends up ruining them, and already has a billion pair of hand knit mittens. Don't talk to me about sweaters. Anyway, I finished a pair of socks for myself using a bright orange and yellow variegated yarn from OnLine. Hurrah! Now I'm working on finishing my aunt's hand towel and I'll be moving on to the last half of my second lace sock. I shall overcome.

I'm slowly learning how to speak Arabic. I have a friend in Egypt who offered to teach me. Me, being the lover of languages that I am, took him up on it without a second thought. Did you know that Arabic is the formal version and Egyptian is the informal? Fascinating. Ana moagab masry! (That means: I like Egyptian!) We're working on setting up a microphone connection so we can perfect my pronunciation. In return, I'm going to help him perfect his English (spelling, grammar and such). He already speaks it very well, but he insists that he's not good enough - my kind of guy.

My dad and I have decided to learn how to dive. We've got the wetsuits (on sale, even) and our friend, Josh, has the rest of the equipment. We only need to buy gloves and hoods. Below is a picture of my wetsuit, but that's not me. I yoinked** the picture from Oceanic's website. It's called the Farallon and it has kneepads, abrasion pads on the shoulders, a back zipper, a raised collar, and seals around the wrists and ankles. My dad keeps complaining that mine is better than his. It is. Let me warn everyone how uncomfortable wetsuits are. They're a pain to get into and a pain to get out of. Let me give you an image: a five year old with a snowsuit on a linoleum floor. Got it? I can't wait to learn, but we have to wait a month for classes.

The weather here is horribly hot and I simply cannot stand it. The high today is somewhere in the high 90s (that's Fahrenheit). Here are some hopefully cooling pictures of the Red Maples in our backyard. These were taken a few months ago, hence the coolness. As for those of you experiencing cooler weather, you have no idea how much I envy you right now. No idea.

*Last time I spoke to my aunt she told me she had 17 washcloths. I hasn't realized that my mom had knit her that many. And you know what else? She handwashes all of them.
** (lit.) to yoink.


Rain said...

Lol I practically lived in a wetsuit when I was at university, the struggle in and out does get easier over time. Mine rarely got chance to dry out properly, pulling it on when it's already wet is not fun. Enjoy the diving.

Tygher Knits said...

Can you have too many washcloths? I haven't knitted many for myself yet, but really, I love them so! And I wash mine in the gentle cycle ..

Lovely maple pictures. I love maple trees .. especially in the fall! Please fall, come quickly!

snowdrop said...

Nice to hear about the spindle! I have yet to seriously spend some time with mine... but I will! Very nice to be learning arabic!... Outside of lots of english and some french, I only remember a smattering from several languages...

allisonmariecat said...

Hmmm...spinning, dyeing...soon enough you'll decide you need a flock of sheep :) Sounds fun! I can't wait to see the yarn you produce. Between the spinning and dyeing, it'll really be YOUR sock creation when it's knitted up!

I think the aunt gift interlude is fine, and doesn't diminish your wip-reduction plan in the least!

Arabic and diving...I wonder you have any time left to post!

Beck said...

I'm glad you got the prize package. Thanks for the arrived today.

Suse said...

Wow, you're busy!

I'm still collecting stuff (you know, firstborn children etc) for your box too. Hopefully I'll get it out next week.

PS. I adore you too.

Suse said...

I'm so glad you got your parcel safe and sound!