Thursday, May 13, 2010

Oh, snap!

(Boring technical spinning post. feel free to skip.)
Okay- at the Fest, I was seduced by some silk waste at a vendor's site, which spun up into a rope of gems.
For her.
I wasn't happy with the texture of mine when I spun some up. It was much too stiff- a problem of silk- and had little give. Researching on the Net, many suggested combining it with a 1: 2 ratio of wool, so I decided to dye up some merino that was in the bin, using my new "greener" dyes, also from the Fest.
All was going well until I took my eyes off the pot for a few minutes and it boiled. OVER, actually, but only onto the stove, not the floor. Whew!
After the pot cooled and I was rinsing the roving, it began to look as if the whole mess had felted. Which makes sense, because that's how you make those Austrian boiled-wool jackets.
Because I don't have any use for five six-foot long lengths of amethyst felt, however lovely and brilliant their color.
Still, some of the shorter pieces that have dried all the way through are pulling apart, so perhaps all is not lost.
Note to me: PAY ATTENTION!
UPDATE: False alarm. Once the roving dried, it was fairly easy to card it out and re-card with the silk. Next up, spinning two batches to see how they do.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Plant a Garden, Light a Candle

Forget diamonds-guess who's getting a compost bin, handmade, for Mother's Day? That'll neaten up the yard a bit.
You would not believe how many people are vegetable gardening now. Trav's old Boy Scout Master's wife, with whom I had a long, enjoyable talk at Boy Scout Food Drive. She's even growing berries.

My next-door neighbor, who put in one raised bed last year, like me and my four, and is doing another this year. Just herbs and flowers- but she's composting.

The lady around the corner on Devon, who's container gardening in her side yard.

The nice young couple two doors down from us, that Sis met through PTA. They have matching-aged kids, and the little girl came to play with O at our house. Then they all came down to look at my set-up in the evening. One of the lizards, the one with the short tail, appeared, to the delight of the little boys.

And those are just the ones I know about. I'm sure there are many, many more.
As next-door neighbor said: "I just want some beauty in my back yard."

The rest of us want the veggies- but we also want a usable skill. And though gardening is NOT a hobby in which you're in control- hah!- at least you feel like you're doing something useful. A couple of hours' work in the plot leaves you tired, but comfortably so- unlike a few hours in front of the computer, contemplating the current situation.
From the B'ob:
In your day-to-day life , you must refrain from activities that advance the infrahuman tide of ugliness, barbarism and falsehood in our endarkened world.

And when you refrain, you must put something else in that place. Not everyone can choose the garden. But we can all choose something. Bless you in your choice.