Friday, May 09, 2008


My brain is too tired to think. Far far too tired to do actual real work. Too tired, even, to knit.

It started last week at work - things are CRAZY here at the moment with the semester ending (pack 6,000 insanely stressed students on a small campus and then run them one by one *screeching* through the library as they try and finish up all of their last-minute assignments) and evaluations were due last week, too. So stressed & freaking students - and stressed & freaking co-workers. Add in a tired & cranky 3-year old and a husband who eyes me askance as I suck down spoonfuls of almond butter straight from the jar all the while saying "No! I'm fine! Really! Fine! Just need a tiny shot of protein! That's all!" and you've got last week in a nutshell.

I did go to Sheep and Wool. I went to bed around 12:30 AM, bracing myself for the alarm to go off at 5:30 (up at 5:30, leave the house at 6:30, catch the bus at 7:30 and ride the bus up to S&W) - only to have the Munch wake up at 3 AM with a low grade fever and a nasty attitude. At first I decided that the trip & the festival was off - despite spending $100 on bus tickets for the two of us - but at 6:15 AM when he was perky and wired and showed no signs of flagging I figured 'screw it' and with fifteen minutes before I was scheduled to leave ran to the shower while Peggers got the Munch dressed, packed my three (!) bags, lunch, and knitting needs and threw everything into the car. We left at 6:35 AM and caught the 7:30 LYS bus with mere seconds to spare. The Munch finally fell asleep at 1 PM that afternoon right in the middle of the big vendor hall, just as I was buying three beautiful braided rovings from Cloverhill Farms.

100% merino. Their 'Autumn' colourway.

50/50 Merino/tussah. TUSSAH.
I can't remember the official colourway, I just remember snatching it up happily...

After we returned from Sheep and Wool I fell down hard with an icky, exhausting virus that has lasted - thankfully - only three days or so at its worst. While I still have headaches and a few tender joints, the painful throbbing aches of my knees, neck, hips, and spine are now passed - and the debilitating exhaustion has given way to just general mild fatigue. In this time I have knitted a grand total of 2 rounds on my Twisted Flower socks, and managed to screw up one of the cable crossings. I'm going to live with it. Instead I have been spinning - and spinning happily. While my skein of 'Insect Wings' from the Hello Yarn fiber club is overspun and overplied, it is still not thoroughly horrid. I's knittable. It was fun, and it was most certainly a start.

My current work-in-progress - my March bundle of 'Red Velvet' from the Hello Yarn fiber club is going better - it is soft on the bobbin even though it's spun very fine, and when I let it loop back on itself the resultant plied yarn is soft and squishy and pleases me greatly. I also wised up and split the fiber as soon as I pulled it out of the bag - half bundled with a bobbin and kept safely to the side while I started on my first bump on it's own separate bobbin - so that I can ply my two strands each from their own bobbins and not instead from both ends of a center-pull ball. (The center pull ball was what I was forced to try and ply from when I plied the ill-fated 'Insect Wings'. I got far too excited to start spinning and never actually thought through what I was doing - and that whole twisted nonsense of an experience is responsible for a great deal of the over-plied-ness of the final resultant skein.) I have only one last final strip of roving to spin before I get to ply them together tonight - going slowly, taking my time, and keeping things nice and easy and soft.

It has been breaking my heart to not do a good job with these rovings - I totally arsed up a lovely braid of roving that I got from Gryphon (see above pic) - the Insect Wings is (like I said) okay, but not fantastic, and the Red Velvet? Well, far too early to know. Luckily the Red Velvet is the least favorite so far of my Hello Yarn shipments - the colours really aren't very "me" - and so it at least only cracks my heart instead of truly breaking it. I'm getting better, though, and I know that the only way I can ever get better is to just keep diving on in and spinning the good stuff (because why learn with crap? Honestly! Life is just too short!) and learning from my mistakes.

I have high hopes for the 'Red Velvet' in terms of technique and improvement - I found a totally new way (for me) to hold the fiber and to draft, and it's made a nice difference in how even my singles are, and in my overall drafting speed in comparison to my treadling - and after that I'm going to dive right into the last Hello Yarn Fiber Club shipment (April - 'Hive' - a colourway that is totally up my alley!) and see what I can do with that. Once I'm done with the H.Y. shipments then I'll step back and assess and evaluate and ponder for a bit - and after that I'll start in with my Sheep & Wool purchases.

(No no no no - not these - I got these at S&W, but they're 'just' sock yarn.
Trekking & Koigu sock yarn, that is.....)

Why all this spinning, you ask? I have found while in the midst of this viral-induced exhaustion that knitting lately just takes far too much brain power. I only have one project currently underway that doesn't require me to either document carefully what I'm doing for pattern posterity's sake, or else to consult a chart every stitch/row. And that single project - Chuck's Cabled Socks - just is not doing it for me lately. I'm not going to frog them - I'm one cable crossing away from starting the heel work, and I'm going to wait and see if their appeal greatly increases once I have the heel stitching next to the cables - so they're not in danger of dying a froggy death anytime soon - at least, not without getting your feedback first. But I'm most certainly not feeling the love. And in the thirty or so minutes that I have to myself every night after I put the Munch to bed and before I pass out myself, I don't want to work on something that doesn't make me feel pleased - if not downright happy. So spinning it is.

On the other side of the knitting front, my May Day Sock Swap socks were happily received by my sock partner - Anita! Anita is very very cool - she lives out in Seattle with hubby & a whole armful of the most beautiful quits I've ever seen. She likes the socks, and they fit - so a win-win as far as I'm concerned! I still haven't received my own socks in the mail, but I have faith that they'll show up fairly soon - my sock swap partner left some very sweet comments to me on the blog, so I know she - and the socks -are safely out there, and that soon a pair of knitted-for-me socks will be headed my way!

I'm starting to fade - my energy levels are just stunningly low at the moment - so I'll leave you with a few photos that I took on Saturday at Sheep & Wool. Have a great weekend everyone - I work both Saturday and Sunday, so it won't be the best weekend for me ever, but it'll certainly be a LOT more restful than last Saturday!!!!!!!!
1. Clean legs, dirty sheep, 2. Munch feeding angora goats, 3. a S&W fairy princess, waiting to get her funnel cake, 4. crowds, 5. the dude in front of me to buy gyros, 6. a killer spinning wheel, 7. sheep, 8. Casey from Ravelry!, 9. Munch and more of those angora goats, 10. a pair of cute sheep , 11. angora goats, 12. this guy kept peeking at us!


Anita said...

I appreciate that you think I'm very cool! I do! But I really really don't feel very cool at all. Other than my feet feel cool - as in chilly - when I'm not wearing some hand-knit wool socks. Thanks. ;-) Someone has to have a little confidence in me.

Emily said...

You really saved up during your virus - that was a great post with all the plot twists and suspense! :D

mel said...

Oh Sheep & Wool, how I missed you!! I'm so glad you got to go & that you and the much are feeling better. Sending encouragement on the spinning, my guess is that you are too hard on yourself ;)