Sunday, September 30, 2007

What's going to have to happen?

The title is in reference to my feelings about school, and what it is going to take in order for me to do my schoolwork. I love my readings and I love being in class, but oh my, between papers and groupwork, I am so not into it right now. Sigh. Some of the things I think need to happen are 1. more organized workspace 2. more organized binder 3. less groupwork 4. more good eating (this weekend was full of the very good, but very bad, kind) and 5. good hair days (I got my hair cut so hopefully that will happen soon). Anyhoo....

So here is my spinning stuff for mom. First I buy lots of yummy fleece. This here is 100% mohair. Very slipperly. But beautiful.
Then you take that fleece and you pull it and pull it but you never break it (well, sometimes you do, no big deal really). This is called drafting. Then your fleece is drafted and reading for spinning. So this is impossible to take a picture of without a friend there, but this is a 'representation' of what goes on: you spin the spindle and feed the drafted fleece to the spindle, and voila... yarn. (not so voila, there's more swearing involved and dropping of the spindle, but remember, this is just a 'representation'). Then you get singles! Singles have a lot of energy that will slant your knitting, so you can leave it as is, or ply them. To ply, I put my spindles into center pull balls, and then you can either ply singles to each other, pulling the center out and plying it with the outside, or you can ply two singles together. I wanted a really long skein so I plyed the two singles together.
This is a bad shot but basically, I put the yarn into little tubs with holes cut out of the top and then spin the two singles together, but this time you spin in the opposite direction. This turned out to be waaaay too much yarn for my poor spindle but I managed to get through it. And then you have the prettiest yarn you ever did see me make.

And now, back to the soul-draining paper. And oh yeah, if someone could come cook me dinner all this week, that would be awesome.

Thanks. (next blog, more talking- less whining, I promise!)

ETA: you may notice the progression of natural light in the photographs. I did all this spinning in one day (it's a gift skein) and started at 11am, finished at 9pm. I also did laundry but mostly, spinning. All day. It was more exhausting than I expected.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How to knit yerself a Pirate Scarf (or... it be a scarf only a pirate could love)

Avast! Here be yer lesson on pirate scarves. Of course pirates knit, yer scurvy dawg, many hours on the ocean vast, what else is there to do, to kill the time betwix pillaging and plundering? Eh?

Here be yer pirate scarf. Ah, that be a fine pirate scarf.
First, yer spin some yarn. Different lengths, different widths, this be a pirate scarf, full of piratey chaos, not some fancy thing an englishman would wear (oh I be mocking the englishmen!).

Next yer boil yer yarn, dye it in blood coloured koolaid.

Or, for the more modern day pirate, you microwave it in a marth stewart goblet. Be sure to assert your pirateness at all time by saying 'arrr' a lot and possibly doing some pillaging while waiting for the yarn to cool off.
Ahoy! What a booty of fine coloured yarns!
Armed with knitting needles that be adorned with the heads of your smaller enemies (9mm sized enemies to be exact), cast on (ahoy!) seven stitches and knit! Knit like a pirate!
Arrr, let the enemies of knitters beware! Remember, stripes be a pirate's trademark, we don't knows why, but it just is. Aye.
Change yarn when yer want, change the amount of rows, you be a pirate, you follow no rules! However, even a pirate with chaos in her heart knows, when one bulky yarn be placed next to a weaker, thinner yarn, it's good to modify the pattern to prevent a puffy scarf, like those of popular pirate sleeves seen on TV. When knitting with yer bulky yarn, decrease from 7 to 5: knit one, knit two together, knit one, knit two together, knit one. When you switch to your scrawny yarn, increase back up to seven: knit one, knit into front and back of yer stitch, knit one, knit into the front and back again, knit one. You be a smart pirate indeed.

And like finding a rich village to pillage, you soon will be quite a wealthy pirate. When you rampage a village, the innocents will stop to remark on your scarf, ah, the foolish die so quick. Wear your pirate scarf with pirate pride and remember, if it's chaos inspired, and you say arrr a lot, it may be a pirate thing. You may be a pirate yet, ye scurvy mate.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Helper Kitty

Since I've been so bad about blogging for Spike, we've decided to stop posting on his blog and I already a category for him so he'll just post his stuff here too. So tonight the post is about what a helper I have in Spike.

Here's Spike helping me read a knitting pattern. (ignore the mess) I don't know if this means he really likes the sweater, or really hates the sweater.
Here's Spike helping me break in a gift Julia sent me from Dhaka. It's a Hello Kitty cereal box. I guess he really wanted all the cereal to himself.
Here's Spike viewing the outside from ontop of my bookshelf, where he is not suppose to be. And it's completely impossible to get him down from there (he will scratch you) since you know, this is a very important vantage point in which to view the 'others'. It's for my own protection I'm sure (and if I have to pick up books from the floor afterwards, so be it).
Here Spike is helping me keep the laundry from the dryer warm. I had set it down to shut the door and I looked back and there he was, helping out. He zonked out for a few hours in order to fulfill his kitty duties.
Here he is helping me when I spilled soy milk on the floor. He stared and stared and stared, then he sniffed it, than he stared. Then he decided finally that it wasn't worth licking and walked away. And then I cleaned it up and mopped the floors. He's a big help.
And finally, here he is helping me with my homework. That sheet he's sitting on was my reference paper, and I guess he decided that I had done enough schoolwork and it was actually time to pet him. He's a very diligent cat.
So that's it for now, I actually have a tonne of photos of Spike, and I could do a whole blog entry about him helping me put the daybed together, but another night. I need to go get some spinning done :)

And no worries Mom, I'm putting together a spinning post for you- just wait to see the new fleece I bought! Wheeee!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mmmm.... new obsession

So while my cat is freaking out and yowling in the curtains (literally, he's behind the pink curtains yowling and I can see his tail whipping back and forth behind them) I figured I would blog about my new obsession! Since I stopped getting cable so I could focus on schoolwork I've been picking up a lot of new hobbies to do instead of schoolwork, and spinning yarn is something I've always wanted to do but seemed really unattainable.

Nevertheless, here it is! My yarn!

It's just over 4.5 metres of length and is two ply. It is really really thick in some sections, kinda thin in others. I did this skein the night before my spinning class, just to get some practice on the yarn, but I didn't want to do too much cause I actually didn't know what I was doing, but I spun these two ...And then plied them together! Isn't that a beautiful drop spindle? I lurve it. I really hope I don't break it because sometimes I send it flying out of my hands quite spectacular like. Then I took a class, and despite being half an hour late (damn buses! I hate them so!) I was fine. I still have a few more classes which is good. I learned that I wasn't drafting the fleece that's why my yarn is so thick and fluffy. So this is what my drop spindle looks like now. I get a lot (a lot!) more yarn on there which is nice so I can get more yardage and it's much more consistent, and more fine.
I only do the inchworm method right now but I'm going to learn the more recognized way next week. And I'm going to get to work on a wheel! But they don't let you take those home :( . Some people in the class didn't own a spindle so they can't practice which is sad. Oh my, and there was one woman, who left after about 45 minutes, she just left! She said it wasn't for her or something and took off quick as a whip! She paid for all the classes and everything! She even had the NICEST wheel I've ever seen to work on! Craziness I say. I'm going to try to spin a little every day and then one day, hopefully this month, well, this month for sure, I'm not going to wait that long, I'm going to use my pretty pretty fleece!Isn't it gorgeous? Yum!

Okay, good night! Sweet dreams.

Monday, September 03, 2007

To this I do solemly (soberly?) declare....

to blog five times a month. Yup. I'm sorry but the last three months have just been plain bad. Three posts per month? Bah! (August only counts as three because the rant about raverly is more.... rant than blog) So that way I will have blogged approx. 70 times in 2007, and since the new spiffy blog layout, I've gotten kinda inwardly competitive about blogging more than before. So at least this will put me above 2005, but I don't know if I can beat 2006, and if it happens, good, but I don't want to force myself to blog cause then you'll be reading the same blog entry time after time (ie. bitching about something). If my life gets uber interesting and I'm ontop of things, then who knows, maybe I'll blog a tonne and beat 2006, or maybe my life won't get interesting, and I'll still be motivated to blog and blog lots and lots (ie. bitching about something).

I guess, and don't take this the wrong way~I adore blogging and all the excellent friends I've made through it and the doors of communication it has opened~, but I think that because before I had a lot to bitch about, and more free time, and blogging was a really neato fantastico fun thing for me to do. And blogging still is really fun and cool, but I'm finding that a) teacher education is taking up a lot of time (who knew?) and b) I have a lot of things now competing for my interest. It's like... ohmigod this is SO cool I totally need to blog about it.... and ten minutes later... ohmigod this is SO cool I totally need to blog about it..... ad nauseum. The rough part is getting to the blog before I fall asleep while reading Adrienne Gear (and not because she's boring, she's wonderful, she came to our class and rocked the freaking cazbah). So yeah, ranty blog means that I will blog more because I love it, but not become OCD about it.

So here's a fun list of things I've noticed to end the long ranty blog.
  • PDA is gross. I don't care how much you are in love, nestling your head between your girlfriends ample bosom on public transport is icky!
  • Spike sheds like a demon and in the six days I have been gone has learned a new meow that basically means 'you left me for six days so now I expect food and pets every second'.
  • The thing about having a really good friend housesit for you is that you come home and discover she's taken photos with your camera, not dirty photos or anything... just really random photos. It's a good thing, my friends are crazy, but it's a good thing.
  • Taking a break in Vancouver versus Prince George? Kinda like comparing the finale to the fireworks celebration of light to.... that rock over there.
  • Packages from Dhaka sealed in cloth with string and wax are the COOLEST packages to get!
  • Hello Kitty has a cereal, and it's pink!
  • Angela got married!
  • My Mom still makes the best dinners ever and I'm really glad she recommended the Beatrix Potter movie even though I missed the middle part I'd still recommend it to you.
  • Jim is getting better at Mariokart.
  • My sister is crafy.
And with that I bid you goodnight.

ETA: So this turned out to be this huge ranty email that I was not planning, so I just want to clarify, I don't think that people who blog more than me have uninteresting lives and have nothing else to do, not at all. I'm saying this is a new issue for me, stricking balance in my blog. I read some people's blogs and fall off my chair at the amount they do, it's all relative. Just wanted to note, is all. I was actually planning on writing about how much I love teacher school (seriously, I knew there was a lot going on behind the scenes but I had NO idea!). That will have to be another post. :P