Tuesday, July 02, 2013

This and that ...

Because life is never simple, and why have computer issues only at the store when we can have them at home too, here is one of my more strange posts.

Doug and I were on our way to a friends' home when we drove past an antique shop up on Highway 12 at Blackwater.  "Spinning wheel!" I exclaimed.  But we didn't stop.  I drove back up the next day and looked at it, and came home.  Thought about it.  And then acquired it.  If you tip your head to the right ...

It's a tidy little wheel.  About 3 feet tall, and all wood.  I found a gentleman who works wonders with
spinning wheels, and left it with him.  He had to tighten
up the centre of the wheel, add the whorl at the top, and add one bead to the lazy kate.  (I'm trying to learn the proper names of the parts -- it makes me feel so sophisticated!) 

When I went to retrieve the wheel, the gentleman's wife demonstrated how well it could spin.  I'm taking lessons from her, come September.  She is a master spinner, and has a reputation for being able to spin moonbeams into wool.  Nice!

The gentleman doing the repairs was quite pleased to see that the flyer was not only present and accounted for, but also in one piece!  The whorl
is at the left, with the drive band.  (That might not be the correct name -- but it does turn the wheel, so it may be correct after all!)  There is also a Scotch tension that can be used, but I hear that it is a bit trickier to learn.

All this to say that I'm gonna learn to spin!  I am so excited!  The spinning product will be for my personal use ... hand spinning is just a bit too time-consuming to try for production quantities.  
 I've also been working on some more items for Baby Panda Boi, as my daughter-in-law and son call the impending arrival.  The outfit at left is made from Queensland Sugar Rush and Sugar Rush Jacquard.  I used three balls of each, and have minimal left-overs.  The pattern is from Naturally (New Zealand), and knit up quite beautifully.  Although the pattern called for a different type of yarn, the substitution worked beautifully.  All in all, I'm thrilled with the outcome.  I can't wait to see the new baby wearing this!
 Other major events in my life -- my beautiful daughter graduated from the University of Toronto with an honours bachelor's degree in Religion and Equity Studies.  Again, tip your head a wee bit to the left ... (Hey -- I'm an equal opportunity head tipper - once to the right, and once to the left!)

She has an internship (with pay, hooray!) at the University for the next six months, so she is feeling quite chuffed with herself.
 In what was a total surprise to me, both her brothers decided to come for the event.  Shown here are Jason (eldest), Carrie (youngest) and Jeffrey (middle).  I look at these youngsters and am so impressed and proud.  They have all three done well for themselves.  Jason is gainfully employed with a U.S. governmental agency, and Jeffrey just completed his master's degree in guidance counseling.  He's looking for work in his field, and has several interviews scheduled.  Yay!
 After the graduation ceremony, we all went out to dinner.  I had the joy of sitting next to Jason and chatting all evening.  Doug snapped a photo of the two of us enjoying a nice laugh.  I don't get to spend as much time with Jason as I'd like, and his lovely wife was back home tending their kitties and growing Baby Panda Boi.  The due date is in August, so it was better that she not travel right now.  We definitely missed her.  I'm extremely excited to be able to visit with them come September, and hold the new baby!
At the store we are always looking for new yarns.  Barb and I ordered in a bag of Cascade Cherub to try out.  Interestingly enough, Barb worked up a baby sweater with her half bag and quite enjoyed it.  I tried out this Cabin Fever pattern ... using the 4.0mm needle the yarn suggested, I found the fabric to be limp.  Extremely limp.  Undaunted, I ripped out and tried again with a 3.75mm needle.  Gauge is more like a 4-ply yarn (think Sirdar Snuggly 4-ply), but the fabric is still limp. In short, I think the Sirdar product is superior.

In other mental meanderings ... while I understand the allure of not wearing pantyhose (yeah, they do make the wearer more warm), I recently attended an event where the ladies were pretty much all required to be dressed up.  Apparently, the concept of underslips has also gone out the window along with pantyhose.  Have you ever seen a room full of women reaching around to pull their skirts away from their rear ends?  I have ... and I'm not kidding when I tell you that the alleged comfort is not worth the lessening of appearance.  Women -- for heavens sake -- pantyhose and slips!  Really!  It is worth it!