Friday, May 23, 2008

Finished skein

At the end of my spinning class for this year, the instructor was dividing up the fibres that were left over, and there was a small bag of some unknown breed of sheep, unwashed. I finally agreed to take it, not knowing why.

It wasn't terribly dirty-- greasy yes, with only a few little bits of grass seeds. I carded carefully since it was quite a fine fibre with good crimp, and made combed rovings of it all. There was a bit of waste of short fibres that really weren't useable at all. I then spun it with my trusty CD spindle, very fine, because that's what it wanted to do, and then made a 2-ply on the spindle as well. (I really love my spindle!)

Here's a pic of the small skein. I don't remember how much it weighed, but it was just over 5 gm. I haven't measured the yardage I got out of it, but there is quite a bit. I still have no idea what it will become, but it will be something nice and small. Or it may be incorporated into a larger project.

Monday, May 19, 2008


It's been a very strange spring so far. Early in April, it was very warm here. Much more unusual than is normal. It looked like spring was here a little early, even though the gardening people kept saying everything is very late. A couple of the trees actually put forth a few leaves -- and then WHAM!! We got hit by a spring snow storm!

We had enough white stuff to cover the ground, and for a time, it was a white-out, a real blizzard such as we never had all winter! AMazing!

But that was like two weeks ago. Today was freakingly hot. I really don't understand the way this weather thing works. I mean, first it's warm, then the snow, and then it's hot! What's up with all that? Makes one really confused.

I can't take the heat much at all. So if this is the start of summer, I am sure I will not be moving much at all in a month. It really drains me, and all I can do is lay down, and wait until it passes by.

Now, when I was in school (not that long ago), we were told that March 21 marks the mid-point of the sun's travel north, and that the day is equal in length to the night. That's not quite true this far north. Only today, I see that we have 15 hours 47 minutes of official daylight. By mid-summer, we will be up to about 18 hours. And of course, you know that further north, the sun never sets. What an amazing place that would be!

At the last spinning class, the teacher was giving away some of the left-over fibres, and there was a small bag of some raw wool. She didn't know the breed, or where it came from, and gave it to me. There really wasn't much, but it looked quite nice, and fairly clean, without much VM in it at all.

I finally decided to do something with it one night, so washed it. It came out very nice, and when it was dry, I wanted to spin it. But how? What to do with it? There really wasn't much to do anything substantial with it, so I decided to spin it on my CD spindle. I really get a lot of use from that thing!

I carded the wool, using my nifty new carders, and since there were very few short fibres, I combed it and then spun it worsted and really fine -- because I like to do it that way! You will notice that I use a quill with my spindle, since I really don't want to handle this fine yarn any more than I have to. I think it will be quite nice when plied (I'll do a 2-ply this time) and then I will decide what to do with it. I'll come up with something nice, I think. In the meantime, there is that lace I need to start knitting.

Friday, May 02, 2008


In the fall, there was a bit of correspondence between Joan Schrouder and myself about the Year of Lace that a local shop was promoting. Several designers were creating new lace patterns of shawls and scarves and other items and these were being packaged with the yarns in a series of 6 kits throughout the year. I had seriously considered joinging this... and after talking it over with the shop owner, and not really getting any clear answers, I decided it was too expensive for me, and I really was too busy to start any new projects. However, I reported what I knew about the series to Joan and a few others, and left it at that.

About 2 weeks ago, I got an email from Joan saying that she was coming to do a couple of workshops AT THAT VERY SAME SHOP, and was hoping that we could meet. Well, of course, I couldn't wait! I called the shop to be sure of the day and time that she was at the shop so that I could say hello and visit with her a bit. The clerk told me she thought it was on Thursday, and she asked the owner and was told that it was indeed on Thursday night. So for the next 10 days, I was so excited about meeting Joan!!

I had a horrible week. Everything seemed to go wrong... there were appointments that got mixed up, there had to be some quick re-arranging of schedules, it snowed! But that didn't matter to me -- I was going to meet Joan on Thursday night, and nothing could detract from that! I told the ladies on the regular Thursday chat that I wasn't going to be there this week because I had to go visit with Joan. Oh, I was so excited!

I finished up work on time, and ran home to change, and made my way all the way out to the shop. I got there, finding only one lady knitting...and a clerk -- I guess I was early. That's okay. I told the clerk, who was very intent on her internet browser, that I was here to meet Joan. She asked if that was my wife, was I to meet her there? Huh?? There was no point in trying to explain -- I said I'll just wait.

Then she suddenly remembers who Joan is, and tells me that she had been there LAST night. WTF??!? But they told me specifically -- even the owner said so -- that she was going to be at the shop on Thursday!! And I made all the arrangements to be there on Thursday! I could have come on Wednesday... I didn't have anything to do that night anyway. But I was told definitely that it was on Thursday. So I came on Thursday. Only Joan was not there.

I was furious!! So that I wouldn't be arrested on criminal charges, I turned around and went back home! I was not in a good mood. I am still not in a good mood! Don't even mention the name of that shop around me! I am furious with them. They have no customer service at all. It's never been a very friendly place whenever I have visited the shop, looking for something specific. I rarely purchased anything there because they didn't have what I wanted, and everything is over-priced, but I did like to look around at some things that I would get "for something special". Not anymore!

I was just talking with someone the other day how you can never find any businesses that care about customers any longer. The clerks seem to be so arrogant, so uncaring about giving good service, so lacking in knowledge. The girls at this shop seem to be very attentive to women customers, but not to me. They obviously don't want me around, don't want my money, and they are not going to get it now! I won't miss them.

There is simply no excuse for that kind of behaviour.

But I won't get to meet Joan now. That is what makes me so very sad.