Things I love, things I hate, things that don’t love me

Tiny little monarch egg waiting to be born.

My yard

And now it is August and the summer is flying by in a mess of rain storms and cool weather.  The yard, more than ever before, is living up to its swamp title.  It hasn’t been properly dry, read able to be mowed without danger of sinking, all summer.  The neighbors, who are very much more exacting about their yard care than I am, are upset that their riding mowers, which they use because it saves time on the twice weekly mowings, are leaving great ruts in the yard.  We also have a riding mower because it puts us above tick reach.  We mow maybe every other week.  Someone has to balance out the fossil fuel use. 

Black-eyed Susans are one of my favorite flowers.
We don’t get to eat these. The birds eat these. I’m guess they are yummy.

My neighbors deeply dislike my yard care.  To be fair, I do not have a traditional yard to go with my traditional house.  I have a comfortable habitat, not a lawn.  If I remember correctly, Howard Mansfield explains in Dwelling in Possibilty, that to dwell used to mean to care for the land as well as the house.  I take that to mean that you not only have to care for the land, but also the animals that live there.  It is their home, too.  Now, having been dragged for eighteen years to Sunday school, I remember a few Bible verses.  The one that stuck with me the most was the one about the least of us.  For me, and I know I am showing my tree hugging ways here, the least of us are the animals and the bugs and the birds and the little things that live in our yards.  To dwell on my land, these creatures and their habitats became my concern.  I need to make them feel at home, too.

A late blooming milkweed plant. I think these bring the neighbors the greatest sense of dread.
These are very tart and another favorite of the birds.

In my younger days, I played simulation games like Caesar in which you had to build the perfect Roman village.  If you didn’t put in the right touches, the people wouldn’t come.  My yard is like that.  I have to put in the right touches to make the resident animals happy.  Otherwise, it is like knowing I will be having guests but not setting a place at the table for them or providing food they can eat or even acknowledging that they have a right to be there, too because my idea of the perfect table did not include actually using it for guests.

If fairies wear flower shoes, they make them from these flowers. I love the image of a fairy ball with fairies wearing flower shoes.
Once we raised Eastern Swallowtails. A wasp emerged from one chrysalis. The horror.

So my yard is a “mess” by many people’s standards.  But I love it.  I have three types of squirrels who cavort on my porch.  Today we had gold finches hanging upside down off the sunflowers to eat the seeds.  We have raccoons (those I could do without but there you are).  We have a banded bird who has been with us for almost six years.  We have a cardinal who uses the side mirrors on the car to show off his virility to the local females.  There are moles and shrews and sometimes a turtle and bunnies and, once, a fox.  One of my favorites is our yearly monarch inhabitation.  They are back this year and in great numbers.  Without us trying, we had common milkweed start in the front flower bed and swamp milkweed (it is so happy this year) start in the backyard.  There are berries of at least three edible sorts, jewel weed with flowers that look like tiny fairy shoes, Queen Anne’s Lace to attract swallowtail butterflies, and so much more.  This year we had to be careful of which door to use because there were nesting birds all around the house. 

The view from my patio. That nasty patch of milkweed in the center is a great place to watch for humming birds, bees, birds, and butterflies.

My human neighbors hate my yard, but the animals are very happy.  I try to be a good host to them and hope that they feel welcome in my yard.   

This little mourning dove was quite resistant to fledging. She finally made it. She was so cute!

Wooden hooks

When I started crocheting years ago, I started with plastic hooks.  I crocheted so tightly that I snapped quite a few of them.  As I got better and did more complex things, I moved up to metal hooks.  The yarn slid more easily and the work was easier with the metal hooks.  As I started looking around more online, I noticed wooden hooks.  Wooden hooks were the epitome of attainment in my little crochet world.  I received a set one Christmas and, oh, they were everything I thought they would be.  I was terrified I would snap one so my crochet became looser and better.  I used them for special projects that I only worked on at home because the risk of hurting one by hauling them around in public was just too great.  As I became more and more used to working with wooden hooks, I bought myself two of the really nice hand turned hooks from Etsy.  I have only used them a little because I am afraid of breaking them. 

It turns out, my fears were well founded.  I broke the first one by dropping the protective box that they live in.  Good bye little green 3.5 mm hook.  Things went well for a while.  I was very careful.  I even managed to safely take some into public and not snap them.  But I became complacent.  I wasn’t careful.  I picked up my project, yarn bowl, and hook and trotted off to crochet without making sure the hook was safe.  Of course it dropped and the head came off.  Good bye faithful 4.5 mm hook. 

I am not qualified for wooden hooks.  I am too careless.  I must use metal hooks.  I may let myself have the ones with the nice soft grips, but not right away because I am mad at myself for breaking the wooden ones.  The others are safe in their little protective box where I can’t hurt them.  I think I should invest in a shadow box where I can seal them in so they can be safe from me. 

Liver

Yes.  Liver.  Oh, the violation of liver.  Marla, our dear and devoted Snowshoe Siamese, has been diagnosed with IBD.  In an attempt to heal her gut, she has to eat a special gel liver paste.  It is as horrible as it sounds.  Possibly worse when one considers that I am a 17 year vegetarian and that I hated liver when I did eat meat. 

Really hated liver.  I think it is a learned behavior from my father, though I would like to think that I would not have eaten it even if I had been given the opportunity without his influence.  I remember one festive family dinner when my mother tried a different method for cooking the dreaded liver only to have my father taste it, throw down his fork, scream “Don’t eat it kids!  It’s liver!”, and then take us out for pizza.  Liver.  It’s not for dinner.

Anyway, the house smells of liver.  There are cans of liver on the counter.  I have to buy liver every week.  Yes, it is processed and cooked liver, but still.  It is spiritually liver.  Ick.  If it helps Marla, it will be worth it and all will be well, but liver.  Shudder. 

Crafting

We did do some crafting.  H has finished all of the bunny fiber she was spinning for Rabbit Wranglers.  We shipped it off this morning, so they should have it very soon.  They are collecting more fiber, so expect to see more bunny fiber spinning stories soon.

Now H is on to her next project, spinning a puff of roving from Hipstrings.

Often I am the very happy recipient of H’s spinning. She’s been spinning bunny fiber for a while, and I had to let all of that go away. This one is for me. Happy, happy, happy.

I, despite having a bunch of projects started, have been focusing on one because the yarn and the colors are making me really happy.  It’s almost done, I think I have three more big color bands to go and then finished!  I made it with a mess of stash yarn, so, in the way of all things that go really well, that yarn has been discontinued.  I’m going to do another one in a yarn still in production (or in production at least until I start the project) and then release the pattern.  I may do a shawl and a scarf since I have to do it over. 

A little peek at the happy colors of my latest wrap. Color and stripes make me very happy indeed.

That’s about all here.  I hope your summers are going well, if very, very, very fast. 

This is a wrap I finished earlier this summer. Crookie joined us for a photo shoot. Doesn’t he look regal?
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And now I know

In one of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s books, she talks about a time of tragedy during which she didn’t knit. She does not mention what her tragedy was because, if I remember correctly, not everyone would view it the same way. It really doesn’t matter what it was. It just matters that it was enough of a tragedy for her that she stopped doing one of the things that made her her.

At the time, I wondered what sort of tragedy that would be. I mean, crochet helps me relax. It gives me something to concentrate on that makes me focus. It gives me something creative to do that yields an actual items at the end, bonus.

Since then, I have had two tragedies that have resulted in me not crocheting. And I will not talk about them, either. It doesn’t matter. What matters is this: I know why I had to stop crocheting. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee offers several ideas of why she stopped knitting during her tragedies, but she wasn’t really sure why she stopped. I know. Crochet gives me too much time inside my own head. I thinking and rethink and worry and dread and imagine horrible events to come. The longer I spend in my head, the more detailed these images become. I have to stop. I have to do other things. I have to clean my house, fill the days with errands, concentrate hard on new things, read a really engaging book so I can be in someone else’s head.

Sometimes this time in my head is good. I can think things through. I can come up with new ideas. I can find a way through tricky things because I have a meditative time to think things through. Other times, time to think is too much time.

We’ve had a tragedy and I haven’t crocheted much this week. Things are calming down and getting back to normal, but we’re not there yet.

I sat with a friend, who has woes much larger and more difficult than mine, and we talked and crocheted on Friday. It was healing, as only good friendships can be.

I watched a really fun documentary about the first little documentary films, 50 seconds in length, which made me feel more like myself than I have in the last week. It’s funny what brings us back to ourselves sometimes. Seeing other people over 100 years ago living their lives in under a minute snippets makes the world seem smaller and us closer to each other.

I hope you are all having good weeks. If not, please know that bad weeks really suck, they aren’t fair, they aren’t deserved, and it’s okay to take as long as you need to find your way back.

How we spin bunny fiber

Today we are going to answer the most frequent question we get:  How does one spin rabbit fiber that is not angora or another fiber rabbit’s fur?  H has taken lots of pictures, and we will try to explain her process as best we can.  Here we go . . .

This is a large bowl. Like a two batches of air popped popcorn holding bowl.

Because H is spinning the rabbit fiber she is doing now for Rabbit Wranglers, and they will be selling it, she starts by weighing it out into two ounce bits.

She rejects certain bits, like cut pieces because the fiber is already short, and mats because they are terrible to work out. 

She fluffs each bit up, checking for cut pieces, dirt, and mats.  She removes all of those bits and the bowl slowly fills.

This is one ounce of fiber, cleaned and fluffy.  So how much fluffy softness is two ounces of bunny fiber?

This much.

It is like a bowl of cloud.

Now that she has it clean and ready to go, she hand cards it.  She fills the carder with enough fiber to cover one brush. 

Bringing order to the wild ways of bunny fur.

Then she brushes until the fur is all aligned in one direction and moves it all to one carder. 

Then she carefully eases it off using the other carder.

Then she folds the edges into the middle to create a smaller rectangle. 

Then she rolls the rectangle up from and unfolded side toward the other unfolded side. 

And so you get a little rolag.

Then, spinning from the end of the rolag, she starts spinning on her wheel.  Could you do this on a drop spindle?  Yes.  Either way, you need to be aware that it is a short little draft you are making.  Also be sure to give the yarn plenty of twist to hold those little fibers in. 

Because we live with cat beasts, H does one rolag at a time and keeps the prepared fiber in a closed container.  Rolags, it turns out, are lovely for so many things like batting across the floor, eating, and throwing up. 

With each rolag spun in, the bobbin fills and you can see your bunny fiber turning into yarn. 

This is a dangerous time for rolags. The sunbeams are fading away and nap time is coming to an end.

H spins a lace weight z twist to ply into a heavy lace/fingering s twist.  You do not need to spin lace weight.  You can spin whatever weight you want, you just need to maintain short drafting and high twist to keep everything together.  One other point, H plies from both ends of a center pull ball.

Plied and done.

So that’s the secret.  Short draft, high twist. I hope this helps for anyone asking about bunny fiber spinning. If you have any other questions about this method, ask away.  

Here’s Marla, contemplating the possibilities for an unsuspecting rolag.

Bears and thoughts

H is almost done spinning another bobbin of bunny fiber. Two more bobbins worth and we will ship it all off to Rabbit Wranglers.

It has been a few very hectic weeks since I have posted.  We have redone flooring in two rooms, cleaned the house from construction dirt, prepared for a graduation party and guests, and dealt with the sudden appearance of summer heat and a broken air conditioner.  We’ve been able to do some crafting, but not as much as we would like.  I have some reflections on this time.

I had started this wrap as a triangle but changed my mind. Now it’s a rectangle with stripes and blocks of color. Between the color change, the stripes, and the alpaca yarn, this is my favorite project on the hook right now.

Tiny Houses

I can never, ever, ever live in a tiny house.  During the construction, the girls and I holed up (with our cats and a lot of our stuff) in the master bedroom.  We didn’t have to stay there all day, but the girl cats were scared, and the boy cat had come to the conclusion that the girls were all at fault for his inconvenience and, so, must die.  We found ourselves in one small room with four cats and not enough room to be away from each other.  Now I love my family.  I just need to know that I can stretch my legs and not bump someone. 

H was without her wheel because there just wasn’t space to spin (and some ginger cat wanted to eat bunny fiber).  I had one project, but, invariably, it was not the project I wanted.  A had a project she hauled in and out of the room with her, but she couldn’t leave because her cat got upset without her.  With the litter box squirreled away in the master bath so the cats could get to it, they all had to be in the one room with us.  (There are other boxes in the house, the cats just couldn’t get to them.)

So what do you find when you close yourself in a room with two gassy cats and three very introverted people?  It doesn’t take long, no matter how clean the room or the people, for there to be a odor of cat gas and humans kept too close together.  There is not space for anything, including stretching legs or just existing without eyes on you.  Even if you bring projects and books, they are not the right projects or books.  You want to do something but you cannot so you get cranky, increasingly cranky with each passing day.  Everyone becomes very focused on being nice to each other, but you know, because you are doing it too, that tempers are very near flaring for very little reason. 

Nope.  That’s not going to work.  I appreciate that some people love their tiny houses, but I cannot exist without enough room to be away from family if I wish to continue wanting to be around my family.  Life with introverts, I guess.

This is the second time around for the, as yet, unnamed wrap I made up earlier this year. This one is for H and it is coming nicely. I find I have to work on it in a quieter place or I forgot which row I am on and how many chains to make.

The calming effect of a hook in hand

I need my crochet hook and a nice project to feel calm.  In the midst of construction and preparing for everything else, a project gives focus and balance and joy.  It feels both like something is getting done and like I am doing something for myself.  I didn’t get to crochet like I normally do for the past two weeks, and it makes me feel very out of sorts, like I’m missing some vital part of myself.

I remember reading somewhere that if you have a craft that you can just lose yourself in, it is quite like mediation.  I think crochet has become my meditation.  I need my meditation.  I am thinking of that Sting song about the card player and dealing the cards as a mediation.  Someone needs to redo that as a parody about crafting. 

It’s another rug on the loom! This one is for the kitchen. The floor there is tile and it needs a rug to make it warmer feeling on our feet.

Bears

We have a bear in the neighborhood.  At last report, he is suspected to be a cub who recently struck out on his own.  We’ve even had a possible late night sighting.  I don’t know how I feel about this.  On one hand, I want to see the bear because BEARS!  On the other, I feel like I have to add a warning about the outside to our goodbyes, “Be mindful of the sun, watch out for ticks, stay away from bears.”  But then, it is a bear.  I like bears.  Right up until one bites me, then I shall cease to like bears.

A has been returning home late from her job, and we’ve been meeting her in the driveway so there is more than one of us in case of bears.  I would fight a bear for either of my daughters.  I hope I don’t have to. 

(Do you remember that commercial that aired relatively recently about asthma in which the people were followed around by a bear? The bear was supposed to be bringing them down as a visual representation of their symptoms. That commercial always upset me because I don’t think I would feel that way about a bear. I have asthma yet I have no bear. I think having a bear would make asthma better. A comfort bear. An emotional support bear. A bear to clear the room when you need some quiet. I think I am owed a bear.)

This is a bottom up triangle wrap. The stitch pattern is such that I can work it by feel alone (until the end of each row when I have to go into the chain). I think this is good. It’s the “Yes, I’m watching the movie (but I am secretly crocheting” wrap.

Metaphorical bears

Lots of changes are happening here with A graduating high school.  She is working, getting ready for college, and starting life much more on her own.  She is going to face metaphorical bears that I cannot warn her about.   I cannot even offer to fight them off because I will not know what I am fighting or even, maybe, that I have to fight.  I can just wait in the driveway of life and let her know that we are always here for her, fighting bears or just keeping the light on.    

And that’s us.  The party is in two days.  Wish us luck!

My cat is a joy to all who behold her.

So many projects

Since I finished the afghan I’ve been feeling like I might actually start finishing projects in a timely manner.  You know, start a project, work it through to finished, start another project like a responsible adult?  I could be the sort of responsible adult who doesn’t have bags of projects all over the family room waiting for the right whim to strike to work on them.  Maybe I would be the sort of responsible adult who finishes what they start before it becomes an unfinished monster hanging over their head unfinished yet still wanted and so a burden. 

But no.  I won’t be that.  I have ten projects now.  Some are just balls of yarn waiting to start being something else, but many of them are under way.  Let me take you on a tour.

Project one:  It’s the ends again.

The moths really are coming

I did another version of Before the Moths Come.  In case you want to try this out, I used three colors and changed color every seventh row.  I really like it.  Because it blocks out into a really open lace, I saved the ends for after blocking.  I haven’t blocked it (Crookie is still having allergy issues and I fear he will decide the wrap is a great place to leave his phlegmy emanations) and so I can’t weave the ends.  I wonder how long I can put that off for?  Months?  Years?  We spotted an actual moth in the house the other day, so I guess I will have to move on the ends before the moths get it for real.

Project two:  Spinning

I am making myself spin for about half an hour every day.  I really do enjoy it.  I have to pay a lot of attention to the process, so I find spinning to be very relaxing.  Almost meditative.  Everything else has to go away.  It’s just me and the fiber.  The pretty, fluffy blue fiber.  The spindle is weighted very well and makes for a really nice spinning experience, too.  Happy, happy. 

Project three:  Knocking off a knitted wrap

Waiting to become something even more wonderful than they already are

I like crocheting things based on knitted patterns.  I think this is because I am a contrary beast.  I have seen far too many articles outlining why you can’t make this or that in crochet.  So I get great enjoyment out of writing up a crochet pattern based on the knitted pattern.  You know, anything you can do . . .

These balls (and the hank I haven’t balled up yet) are going to become a wrap based on a knitted one I saw.  But here’s the thing.  The stitch pattern I want to use, complete with the increases, I worked out before but cannot remember now.  I wrote it down.  I could go look it up.  But I won’t because it’s a challenge now to figure it out.  I keep trying.  I haven’t figured it out.  I might need to go look it up.  I hope it didn’t work last time because I made some horrible error that I never noticed until the end that means it didn’t really work. 

Project four:  Playing with color

I love color

If anyone recalls my pattern “Buffy has a warm neck”, then you might recall that I was surprised by the way the colors seemed to change based on what color they were beside.  This wrap is all about that.  I plan to do color blocks and then weave other colors through those blocks to play with how colors look beside other colors.  I am really enjoying making this.  I’ve been thinking a lot about how to lay out colors and which colors to use for weaving and where.  Also, the yarn is alpaca.  I love working with alpaca.  So soft.

Project five:  I still owe my mother a Mother’s Day gift

These colors remind me of apples and fall

I have always wanted to try making a Sophie Digard style wrap.  I love her scarves and wraps and the way she plays with color.  I’m not brave enough to do the color mixing she does, but I can chose a few pretty colors and make enough tiny motifs to drive myself to a new hobby.  So here we go.  True to form, I am starting this after the intended holiday for gift giving.  True to form, it is complex and will take a very long time and have too many ends.  Big fun!

Project Six:  Green wrap with no name

This is a happy green

I made one of these in cream as a gift, and now I am making a second one for H.  It works up quickly, and I can pull it off with one hank of Madtosh Prairie.  Two ends.  Love this one!  I should write up the pattern and put it on the blog.  I wonder if that counts as another project?

Project seven:  Everyone needs a little fox

Fingers crossed it looks like a fox when I’m done

I do not often do amigurumi.  I can crochet the pieces but I cannot put them together nicely.  These patterns, though, do a really good job of explaining where to place which bits and how.  I can make creatures that look like what they were supposed to look like.  It’s very gratifying.  I’m also really enjoying the pop of color the deep orange is lending to the picture.  I am excited to start this one on Friday (when I get together with a fellow crocheter and we begin our foxes).

Project eight:  Fingerless gloves

One of my favorite color combinations

Have you seen the fingerless gloves that Alice wears in Tim Burton’s first Alice in Wonderland movie?  They’re light and striped and pleasantly pink and gray.  These are some of my favorite things.  I love stripes.  Pink and gray is one of my go to color schemes.  I have small hands, so light things don’t make me feel like my hands are being eaten.  Of course, they’re knitted and therein lies the challenge.  I am going to make a nice crocheted pair of Alice gloves.  Anything you can do.  Anything.

Project nine:  More gloves

There two make me think of peaches

And when I finish one pair, I’m going to make another.  But I think I will make this pair with peachy colors and add in some green.  Maybe green for the hand part and then stripes going up the arm?  Anyway, more gloves.

Project ten:  Snails!

Have you read The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating? You should.

Why do one amigurumi object when you can do many more?  I’m also making some snails.  The colored balls will all be snail shells because snails deserve to have fantastical shells.  I have the bottom of the foot part done for all five, so they’re started.

And now for my diligent and hard working daughter who starts one project at a time like a responsible person.  H as finished another hank of bunny fiber.

Behold the wonder!

And has started another.

Happy bunnies make happy fiber

This stuff is so squishy and soft!  She reports that this bit is a faster spin than the last one, so that’s a good thing.  It’s going to be hard to watch all of this yarn leave the house.  I am going to content myself with the knowledge that it will be going off to be sold to help bunnies in need.  No bunny should be in need.  We’re happy to be able to help them in any way we can.

In other fun news, an air plant is blooming.

In even more fun news, we found 11 monarch eggs!  All of them are hatched and growing nicely.  So fun to have them back in the house.  Well, it is for now when there are 11 of them.  At the height of summer when we have about 200 it will be less fun. 

The snuffly monster himself. 

Poor boy hates pollen

The humanity of a hook

Crochet!  Unlike knitting and sewing and embroidery and other fiber arts, all of crochet is done by hand.  Human hands.  I think this makes it the most intimately human of the fiber handcrafts.  It can’t be done by machines.  There are crochet machines out there, but they do not produce stitches and patterns that look like crochet made by human beings.  They produce more of a woven lace, and that’s not real crochet. 

The movements of crochet are complex and too hard for machines to duplicate.  They speak of the human hand and the human eye working together to produce unique fabric.  I like crocheted fabric better than other sorts of fabric.  Knitting looks bland to me.  Maybe this is because I can’t follow the movement of the yarn through the project like I can with crochet.  Maybe I would appreciate knitting more if I could do it.  But I can’t.  I appreciate that other people love knitting and do it well.  It is not where my heart lies.  The same goes for weaving (I’ve tried and I’m leaving it to H) and sewing (that’s work not fun) and embroidery (I can make the most impressive knots-they just aren’t part of the pattern).  I like the textured bumpiness of crocheted fabric.  I get a real sense of the twists and turns of the yarn.  The tension, the drape, the squish of the fabric are all a result that can only be achieved by human hands.  I love this and I think in today’s society it is becoming more and more important.

Because the day is coming when we will need a test.  A quick Google search will alert anyone unwise enough to attempt it that the day of our robot overlords is coming.  Machines will slowly take over our jobs and houses and lives until we just turn ourselves over to them and live in the Matrix. 

Inevitably the machines will become good enough that we will not be able to tell them apart, at a glance, from us.  But what if, just think about it, you could spot them by their choice of handcraft?  Knitters could be anyone.  Sewers, embroiderers, weavers, spinners, they could be anything, man or machine.  But not so the proud wielders of a hook!  These people who choose to flaunt their very humanity in the faces of our incapable robot overlords could be the salvation of humanity.  We would know these humans even without hook in hand by their snazzy crocheted hats and cute summery tops.  With hook in hand, they would hold forth the power that is human culture writ large in thread and yarn.  Take up a hook now so that you, too, can prove your humanity and also know the robot enemy when you meet them. 

And what are we up to this week?

H is almost finished with her latest bit of bunny fiber.

Fuzziness!

And she finished another woven throw rug in her signature irregular plaid pattern.  Marla started sleeping on it immediately, so that’s claimed.  This rug makes me so happy.  I just love the bright colors and the way they all come together.  Such a happy thing.  Houses should be full of things that make one smile.

Color makes me very happy

We might just restring the loom this weekend and start another rug.  It feels like a good time to make up some bright happy rugs.  And then each cat can have its very own rug from which to judge each other. 

I am still plugging away at a bunch of projects but did finish one.  The plaid scarf is (almost) finished!  The ends are all woven!  The weaving bit is all done!  I just have to do the twisting finish to the fringe and I am done.  I don’t think that will take long.  I really do like this scarf, now that most of it is behind me.  We’re all still a little surprised that the lettuce colored yarn worked out so well.  None of us liked it all by itself but without it the scarf would be a bit flat.  Better with lettuce, who knew?

With the woven bits in, it is sooooo squishy!

I have two other projects on the hook-another Before the Moths Come and another of the newest wrap-and my spinning project.  I think in the next few weeks I will wrap up the other two and then I plan to start on a bunch of new things.  I made a list and it should take me the rest of the year to finish them all, so I have a plan.  And, of course, I thought of a new one today.  Going to have to add that to the list. 

We’re putting down some new flooring next month and so we’ve been saving boxes to put stuff in while the rooms are torn up.  Crookshanks is quite happy about this box hoarding.

A moment of rest for our hero

Pollen sucks

I like to post every week.  It makes me keep working on things even when I have come to hate them and wish the moths really would come and eat a project up so I wouldn’t have to finish it.  That being said, the joys of spring are steadfastly trying to kill me with their pollen and their flowers and their happy scents of the season.  Spring sometimes bodes slow weeks with many sniffles and not much done but quietly wishing flowers could spawn like birds instead of with pollen.  I love fall.  You know, when everything dies and I can breathe again? 

Even poor Crookshanks is suffering from his seasonal asthma and allergies.  The poor mite.

Snuffly, little cat boy

So what have we managed to get up to this week?

A swapped yarn a bit ago for some really nice green and has been working a new scarf for herself.

This yellow is as close as I wish to get to pollen

She’s working it in her own variation on a Marguerite stitch.  I’m really liking the occasional pops of yellow and deeper green in the fabric.  It adds such a depth to the color.  The whole thing is delightfully squishy, too, so you just want to pet it and hold it.  And for it to be fall.  Right around the corner, fall.

H is still working on her bunny fiber.  The new one is soft and fuzzy, but not quite as soft as the last.  It’s really interesting to see how different each of the bunny fibers from various breeds can be.  The fiber H received from the rescue is from all different breeds and mixes of rabbit in their care.  It makes for some really neat color ways as the different fibers are blended into 2 ounce portions.  This one is largely black and gray hair with some white and cream thrown in for weight.  But they each feel different.  I guess this makes sense.  My cats, all fed the same diet though some in greater or lesser portions, all have different feeling hair:  Crookshanks is soft but not fuzzy; Gigi is silky; Meg is all about fuzziness; and Marla has a dense and silky coat.  All rabbit fiber yarn seems to be nice, but some are definitely softer. 

Not quite as fuzzy or soft but still lovely

H also started a new weaving project.  She makes these really fun, bright, irregular plaid rugs that make me very happy because I love bright colors in things I don’t wear.  Here’s where she is now in her progress.

Bright, happy rugs are the best rugs

But you know what else you get from weaving?  Really fun pictures of setting up the loom.

Oh, the joy of color!

For those wondering, H weaves on a rigid heddle loom.  She likes them because they minimize loom waste, and they are (generally speaking) very easy to set up.  She can’t imagine having a lot of loom waste on handspun fiber.  The horror.  I know some people find creative uses for these ends, and I’m sure we would, but, right now, the thought of a crochet project with only yard long pieces of loom waste to work with is horrifying.  All those ends.  All those terrible, terrible ends.

And that brings us to my own piles of endless ends.  Yes.  The scarf.  I am sooooo close to being done.  I have under 50 ends to weave.  Saying that makes me think of all the ends I have already woven and that makes me feel icky.  I do hate ends.  The scarf, though, is coming really nicely, and I’ve been weaving in the extra rows of chains to start creating the plaid effect.  It’s about half done in this photo, and you can see the plaid starting to develop into solid and mottled sections.  I think I like it.  I think I will like it more when it is off the hook. 

See the ends? There? Lurking along the side?

I got pictures (finally) of the wrap I finished last week and still have not named. 

I washed it, blocked it, liked it, and promptly started another in green for H.  This one will soon be shipped out to its forever home. 

Spring green from the safety of a yarn ball. No pollen needed!

Look at that bright, happy green.  Such a nice shade.  And there’s lichen! 

So that’s it.  There’s a fiber festival this weekend, and I hope to grab some yarn for a new tunic for H.  If there’s money left, I’ll try to pick up yarn for some hats and maybe a pair of fingerless gloves. 

Stay away from pollen.  It wishes you ill.

Meg says hello.

Her eyes are itchy from spring, too! And she sneezes like the tiniest elephant.