Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Avast Ye Swabs!

Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Break out the grog!

In observation of this auspicious occasion, I have decided to cast on the Pirate Queen's Booty Bag from talklikeapirate.com. This bag will come in handy to haul my knitting around while I am in Keyano Theatre's production of Treasure Island. I play Jim Hawkins' mother, so I appear in the first 20 minutes of the play, then sit backstage knitting until the last 5 minutes. The director may use me for set changes and so forth in between, but nothing so far. The cast is mostly 16-20 years old, with the exception of two other actors, including poster-boy Norm above, and our director is the amazing Vern Thiessen from Edmonton. Great energy, lots of fun, and nowhere near the number of lines I had to learn for Southern Belle. Yarrrr!

Meanwhile, I am still chugging away at my Highland Triangle shawl. I've had a couple of delightful frogging days, but seem to have things back under control. I also have a "mindless" shawl project on the go--mostly stockinette with an occasional lace row for interest. That one is also getting perilously close to being finished, so I am on the hunt for new inspiration. Christmas knitting, perhaps...

I am also very happy to be back working on my in-depth study. I am working on samples, and now that everyone is back to school I have the time to really focus. I am up to 6 out of 16 samples completed, but I am beginning to suspect that I made more work for myself than I needed to. I am spinning 100g of each type of yarn because I am not only making the samples for my book, but a sock from each yarn. The socks will then be worn for a week by testers and rated for comfort, warmth and durability. Sixteen socks, all handspun, the blending and preparation, the notes, the testing...what was I thinking?!? Always the overachiever.

Shiver me timbers and hoist the Jolly Roger! I'm off to knit!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love it when the universe conspires to give you what you need, even when you don't know what that is...

Life has been even more hectic around here than usual, with Steve changing jobs, kids going back to school, me gearing up to go back to work at the art gallery (under less than ideal conditions), HWSDA board commitments, my father's illness, an incomplete in-depth study and Treasure Island rehearsals. Then last week, I got hit with a kidney stone. Ouch.

I spent the better part of the weekend drugged and snoozing, but when I was awake, I pondered the pace of my life. I had hoped to have a quiet fall, travelling down to Edmonton to spend some time with my parents, sewing elaborate Halloween costumes, playing theatre Diva, and getting my in-depth finished. Instead, I had set up an insane schedule of work, volunteering and paperwork for other people. No wonder my kidney got cranky.

Then, in an hour yesterday, it all let go. The president of the HWSDA board called to express her concern over my prolonged silence. It's not that I have been avoiding my duties, just that I have had little to no time to communicate with the other board members. She graciously offered my the opportunity to step down, and I took it. One extra pressure removed. Then, not even twenty minutes later, I was informed that the art gallery job was suspended until after the political issues that were going to create such stress for me were resolved. Reprieve. So the frantic month that I was dreading has suddenly slowed down to an almost manageable pace again. All I had to do was answer my phone.

Thank you universe. Now I"d better get to work on that in-depth!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Catching My Breath

It's been a whirlwind of activity on the old homestead the last couple of weeks, and I am enjoying the first quiet morning since I can't remember when. The family is all out enjoying their last day of summer freedom, and I get some quiet spinning time. Ahhhh!

Sandwiched between a trip to Edmonton to see family and the beginning of rehearsals for Treasure Island, I managed to have the dye day from hell. Nothing worked out as planned--pleasing results, yes, but not quite as expected, or repeatable. I suspect it was because of a cool wind blowing that kept my dyepot from ever achieving an even temperature. Or old dye stock. Or both.

Anyhoo, I overdyed the raspberry pink shawl yarn from the last post with a purple that struck unevenly and has given me a bit of a handpainted look. Then I did a rainbow dyed BFL top, that came out lovely. I decided to exhaust the pot and wound up with another rainbow dyed top (Polworth), even though I had blended the colors and carefully reset the pot. Some of the results:

Not too shabby, and the rainbow dyed colors happen to match the colors of the fabric that I bought for my Halloween costume, though I have my doubts about getting it spun up and woven into anything by then. I already have a silk on the Schacht and some merinoX/silk on the Traveller, and in-depth study yarns to make. I guess I should be glad that my creative urge is up and running at full capacity, but now I need to figure out how to make a 28-hour day!

Today, though, I spin and knit and breathe.