Friday, July 22, 2011


I have a definite tendency to post less during the summer.  Summer is hot, and I dislike hot weather.  I'm a maritime girl at heart and enjoy a cool ocean breeze more than anything.  Yesterday it was so intensely hot that I did not really accomplish much in the way of knitting or spinning.  I got a bit done, but really not much.

I have about 1/2oz left to spin on my braid of alpaca/merino.  It's turning out lovely.  I should be able to ply it this afternoon.  The colour repeats are nice and long, so I will be navajo plying to keep the colour repeats the same in the yarn as they are on the roving. 

I've also been doing a lot of dying just lately, and drying out my lavender in batches.  I think I need to bag up the current lavender that finished drying a few days ago.  It started flaking into the dyepot yesterday, since I do both tasks in the laundry room where they won't be in anyone's way.

I will need to cut some more lavender from the garden, but that involves going outside.  I have to admit, I have very little interest in going outside right now unless it is absolutely strictly necessary.  It's not as bad as yesterday, but it is still quite hot out there.

I'm worried about tomorrow.  H booked what should be a fun (for him) time at a professional enclosed driving track.  I do not know if there is shade or shelter while he drives.  I sincerely hope there is.  I dehydrate quickly these days.  He's promised me plenty of popsicles and slushies if the shade is insufficient, and I will be wearing a big floppy hat and lots of sunscreen.  I just don't know if that will be enough to keep me from swelling like a balloon.  Staying home isn't an option, because we're going out for lunch after.  Wouldn't want to miss that.  ;)

Friday, July 8, 2011

A random, utterly non-knitting thread

It's 5:30pm and I need to make dinner.  The problem is, I don't know what to make for dinner.  I never know what to make for dinner anymore because we never have anything dinnerish that I want to eat in the house.

I feel like making roasted potatoes.  But we are all out of potatoes.  Then I thought a wrap would be nice, since we have some leftover lettuce.  But we have no wraps.  Burgers would be great, but we have no buns.  Hotdogs would be okay, but we have no buns.

I want roasted potatoes so bad that my nose is imagining it can smell them.  But we are completely out of potatoes.  Completely out.

I don't feel like making chicken, since I really don't like chicken at the moment (and have not liked it much since January).  We have no french fries.  I've made pasta the last 3 meals In A Row!!  So I am refusing to make pasta tonight on principle.  Although, I could make a lasagna and I don't think that would necessarily count as pasta.  But lasagna is never really good without garlic bread, and I have no bread in the house.

I could do soup, but H and I don't like the same kinds of soup and I don't feel like making two different meals.  I could do pizza, but the last time I ate pizza I ended up with a gallstone attack that lasted nearly 3 hours in spite of taking my medication promptly.

So here I am at 5:30pm trying to come up with an idea for dinner and failing.  Mostly, I think, because I really want roasted potatoes.  But we have no potatoes.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

More on Needlebinding

I've been practicing my nalbinding a bit more.  I took it with me to the clinic this morning when I went to get my bloodwork done.  Naturally, it attracted a bit more attention than, say, knitting might.  I was quite surprised that it attracted more attention than even spinning usually does.  

So what is this "new" art form?  Here's a great introductory video from youtube.  Follow the link to watch part 2, as well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Things I want to learn: Nålbinding I don't think I'll be able to convince H that I need another hobby, but I've been reading a lot about nålbinding just lately.  I first came across the term about a year and a bit ago.  It seemed like an interesting, if somewhat confusing concept.

I figured the only way to really understand the process would be to actually try it.  Which I did.  Because, you know...I need another hobby like I need another hole in my head.

It has been described by some people as being like single-needle knitting.  I find it to be an interesting cross between knitting and crochet.  It's not hard to see how this craft might have evolved into either and is certainly older than both.

The project in the picture is my second row of what should be a cowl when I'm done.  It's actually pretty difficult to find written patterns for nalbinding.  There are some good resources on different stitches, but very little on how to work these stitches together into projects.  So I'm sort of winging it. 

This first project uses the "Oslo" stitch, which seems to be the recommended beginner stitch.  All projects seem to be worked in the round, and I cannot find any information on how to work back and forth...although I did find a reference to turning a sock heel by working back and forth, so I know it must be possible.

Although all the resources say to take care not to twist your work when you join, I did give the starting row a half twist when I joined to create a mobius cowl.  I'm not sure if the project is actually big enough for a mobius, but I guess I'll find  out in another few rows.

I will say does seem to be a little more difficult to screw up nalbinding than it is to screw up knitting.  Adn the learning curve is a little less steep.

I like it.

Now I just need to get myself a proper nadel (nalbinding needle).  I'm using a blunt carpet needle for now, and while it works, I'd like to have the right tool for the job.  I kinda feel like I'm doing the equivalent of knitting with chopsticks. 

Monday, July 4, 2011


In 2009, H and I bought our first two mice.  Frankie and Benjy.  It turned out those two boys weren't two boys.  Benjy was a boy, but Frankie was quite female.  She gave birth to two litters and was a wonderful companion.

She was sweet and affectionate and would crawl into your hand with very little coaxing.

About two months ago, she began to suffer a sharp decline in her health.  I suddenly realized she was very nearly two years old.  An average mouse lives about 18 months.  She was quite elderly.  She lost interest in treats, and lifting food out of her bowl was a mammoth task.  But she would still dance (albeit shakily) to be held and loved.  And I enjoyed giving her lots of attention.

Last week, as I watched her suffer, I came very close to making the extremely heartbreaking decision to euthanize her.  I researched it well, since I wanted her to die peacefully and not in pain.  But H and I found we couldn't do it.

She died this evening while I was making dinner.  She was alive when I started, but was gone by the time I'd finished.  She lived a long and happy mouse life.  I wanted to bury her under the lavender bush next to Benjy, who died last summer at just over a year old.  Unfortunately, the lavender bush is simply too large now.  She is in the backyard, instead, next to Scruffy.  You were the first.  You were the best!!