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and also some knitting.

I had a rich day, spent lots of time with nature. Things I did: saw a harrier hunting not 10 feet from me; lay in Mark’s little boat just to let the current rock me; spyed the moon through maple leaves; stretched out on the warm rocks in the driveway next to a snake, each of us checking out the other; sat for half an hour under a larch tree, blending with it, and willing the seeds I gathered and planted from that tree to hatch and grow; and shucked oysters brought to me by Sharin, and sucked the salty water and slippery beasts out of the shells.
Now at the end of the day I feel so good!

As promised, here is a page from The Night Life of Trees. This is a book “of art and folklore from the Gond tribe in central India. In Gond belief, trees stand in the middle of life, and the spirit of many things lie in them. They are busy all day, giving shade and support and shelter and food to all. Only when night falls can they find rest for themselves, and then, under quiet dark skies, that spirits that live in them are revealed.”

the creation of trees
The Creation of Trees.

more to come.

Okay, here are the thoughts. I tend to be fairly spacey, forgetting about commitments and general maintainence, and that’s not good.
I became aware of something developing in my life today, an internal organization, ooo, that sounds dry, let’s say I am learning how to feel the threads that connect me to the things I need to keep track of. For example, I have to make a pair of socks for a swap, and while there isn’t a set deadline, I am determined to not procrastinate this time! My heart is set on making a pair of pomatomus, which puts me on a bit of a learning curve. First step has been to mull over the choice of yarn. I decided on this yarn, which I have been ravelling from an abandoned project I got at a thrift store years ago:
blue yarn
it is very thin, and I needed smaller needles than I had, so I went and bought some 0 dpns. (The pattern calls for 2s and I know I am loose knitter, so I start two sizes down.) Then I made my first gauge swatch. Which turns out to be too big!
All this taking place along a stretch of time, mind you, and in the meantime, I am getting a bit restless, so I turn the gauge swatch into something possibly useful:
redbird patch
which didn’t turn out good at all, but hey maybe somebody will like it. I am really poor at figures, and this is supposed to be a Firebird, but didn’t it turn out too cute!

I quickly figured out I was going to have to learn the lace pattern for the socks on a bigger yarn than I will ultimately be using. So:
pomatomus swatch
I nailed it.
Now, I am waiting for my smaller needles to arrive in the mail (I went ahead and ordered 00s, 000s, and 0000s, it’s been too damn long since I spent money on myself if you don’t count this, tight last couple of months), and while I wait, I am working on a Sunrise Circle jacket for Alice, which is itself a preparation for making myself one!
the beginnings of the back of the sunrise circle jacket
All this is relatively mundane, but it serves to illustrate how I have been able to carry the thread of an idea through several stages without losing it, and of course, I simultaneously have many other threads running between my fingers that I am keeping track of with similar processes.
After years of forgetfulness, I am excited about this ability! and, best of all, this “method” is enhanced by, not dependent on, written lists.

so yeah.

I’m back.
what with Alice gone last week to sailing camp at the Center for Wooden Boats, I found myself out in the pasture every day with the sheep. I really have an appreciation for Alice’s contribution to the household, I tell you!
So many thoughts crossed my mind, and I wanted to write about half of them, this being journal as well as public space, but alas, I had absolutely zero time for sitting at the computer.

yarn riot

(there’s a stash shot for ya)

I did manage to get a lot of cuffs knit. I could do about a pair and a half done while watching the sheep.
All this cuff knitting was brought about by a pending swap with Soule, which I completed yesterday. I traded these cuffs made to order for a few pieces of art which I need to photgraph yet.

cuffs for min

cuffs for soule
Not the greatest photos, but as I said, I was under diress!

I look forward to having a bit more time to read all y’all’s blogs. Then I will be able to talk about other folk’s cool happenings.
I did get turned on to the event that is going to be the apex of my summer perhaps. Pickathon! It’s been awhile since I went to a three day camping music event.

Opal has been in horse heaven what with the new alliance I have formed with a local lady. A friend, I think I can say! Yes, my new friend, Sharin, takes care of other people’s horses when needed, and has been facilitating Opal’s passion for the equine. Opal even got to ride a horse yesterday, but honestly, I think at this point the child would be happy mucking out stalls.

Oh, and yesterday I got home from work to find I had sold two cd pockets (here and here) via my etsy shop! I was more than surprised. I forgot I even had a shop. hah hah.

so, that’s all for now. I need to go generate more experience so I can write about it.

So, Sunday morning. And the last day of 2006. I am passing up an invitation to a party; Mark and I are going clam digging instead. I can taste the bouillabaisse already….

Yesterday was fragmented by many phone calls. (Sorry about my phone hanging up on you, Stan! We talked so long the battery died, and when I called you back, it was busy…) I did manage to get some crafting done- I spun this roving up into yarn!

new yarn

I plyed it with a commercial yarn, some slubby blue wool novelty yarn called Commotion. (I have never been able to figure out what to do with all that stuff. It so thin.) Some of the green is barely spun. I am just figuring this out. I actually had stalled out on spinning altogether because of my aversion to spinning dry wool, but after having a conversation with cosyknitsliterally about spinning dry vs. in the grease, I figured I had better just get to it. I actually misted the roving with a water/olive oil emulsion and let it sit for awhile, which gave it a bit of lubrication.
anyhow, I am happy with the result, and ready to spin more. I sorted through my stash of fiber, and threw some nasty old fleece onto the compost, and have the next bit lined up to go. Mostly I have greasy, colored wool, so I will be using that for now, but I plan on ordering some washed fiber form Homestead Wool and Gift Farm. Thanks to miss hawklet for the link to that animal friendly farm!
Speaking of animal friendly farms, I bought this skein of yarn from woolhandcrafts.etsy.com last night, and look at the picture Kim sent me! It is Ina, the sheep whose wool made the yarn I ordered!
ina the sheep
The folks at Grand View Farm are also homeschoolers, hurray! When I get the yarn, which I plan on dyeing pink, I will let you all know how I like it. It is supposed to be Super Soft.

Oh, and one more thing. Mark sent me this link to a hilarious TV spot for the L.A. County Fair. Illustrating exactly why it (and fiber education for the population at large) is needed. Go watch it for a chuckle, unless Blonde jokes bother you. “Duh, Ashley, all wool comes from a cow.”

Today, I needed to exhaust the green dye bath. here are the two skeins chosen for the honor:

One, a handspun natural that I found at a garage sale, the other, a seafoam green coned yarn that I was given (and have tons of), neither of them particularly soft. I really am happy with the pale green skein.
I expected these to turn out kelly green like the original dyelot, but when I went to rinse the bucket, I found that the blue dye had adhered to the sides, and the rinse water was coming out very very blue. I saved it, and it will be the basis of my next dyelot. It is interesting, the different dyes must have different weights or something.

I went ahead and joined the flickr group, freeform knit 365, like I need another project. The premise is this: one commits to do a bit of freeform knitting and photograph it, each day, for 365 days. I will say only that my pieces are going to be small until after the holidays. I couldn’t resist the challenge, though.

Check out this cool postcard from Hamburg.

It’s like one of those Richard Scarry Busy books! It makes me long for summer and a journey.