Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pretty pictures

The bad news is that whilst my camera was at Wonderwool with me, I got so stressed out and generally overwrought that I didn't actually manage to take a single photograph whilst I was there. It was one of our typical family days out- aiming to be out of the house at 7am, we actually left at 8.45 with my lovely husband waffling on about housework, one boy vomiting copiously in the car whilst the other wailed "I'm HUUUUNNNNNNNNNGRY", we got stuck behind a red fiesta stuck behind a lorry driving through the welsh mountains at 25 miles an hour- oh boy, it was fun. Really.
The fluffy stuff was lovely- I have a huge stash of roving now, including some beautiful cochineal-dyed roving from Andy at www.bluefaced.com and some extraordinarily wonderful yarn and fibre from Freyalyn.  
Silk and roving from Fiery Felts and some raw alpaca from a beautiful beast named Butterfly. There's also the niddy-noddy, a few more bobbins and an inch gauge.  It was a good day- and oddly, nowhere near as expensive as I was expecting.

Friday, April 25, 2008

31 going on 48

So, Monday I turned 31. Nothing terribly exceptional about that, though it's hard to deal with all of the major life events that happened a full decade ago- parenthood, university, losing my dad- and acknowledge that really,  I'm no closer to any conventional measure of success now than I was then.  But sod it, when was convention ever a priority in my life?
Today, we bought wii fit. Apparently, I am 48. This stinks. Must do better. BUT tomorrow is Wonderwool Wales, and I get to buy pretty things. I am VERY happy.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Seaweed slipper socks

Life has been pretty quiet here this week. I've done some knitting and some spinning, a large amount of decluttering and worked really hard on getting some nearly-finished objects into use. These socks are one of them- finished, but not grafted, last summer, it has taken me until now to do the finishing stitches. But oh, they are so comfy, and my feet feel so warm wearing them.
The yarn is BFL, which was originally dyed with nettles and turned a sicky bile colour. It was then overdyed by tightly twisting the yarn back into a skein and dyeing it black (grey? green?) and then overdyed a second time in blue. I like it. It makes me think of the sea, which I miss, and many other good things which can only be a good thing.
Other than that, we had a trip into Oxford yesterday, where the kids and I did the tourist thing while Steve sat his QTS tests- and passed them well, and I discovered yet another good toyshop. Both boys are learning to spin (I dare not say how excited I am, for fear of jinxing this) and this is Isaac's first yarn, lovingly tied around his wrist. Isn't it great?  
I also retrieved THIS from the dustbin, and I personally think it's incredibly cool. So nuh. Someone out there believes in you, kid, even if you don't always believe in yourself.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Stash management

After much agonising, this is my new yarn storage solution. Have less yarn (and a lot of this is actually up for trade, should anybody want it) and put it all out on display, where I can see and admire the colours and pet it and stroke it as much as I should want to. Knit it up before moths and other yarn-eating creatures should get to it, and relish it. Wallow in it. Don't keep it shut away where nobody can see it, but have it out where it gives me pleasure. And it does.
I have a few works in progress left untidily around the house (half a pair of socks,  for instance, or 90% of a baby surprise jacket) but I'm liking the overall effect. And yes, I know that my fibre stash should by rights be next up, but it won't be- because
a) My stash consists mostly of greyish-brownish raw fleece
b) What isn't greyish-brownish raw fleece is white shetland or merino
Both of these look somewhat boring on display. More importantly, my pathetic tiny little brain is greatly amused by shrinking whole fleeces in a vacuum bag, and so they will be remaining shrinkwrapped for the foreseeable future.
The best thing? Steve is browsing spinning websites looking for my birthday present, and is muttering stuff about drum carders. Here's hoping...
Oh, and yet another picture of River, because he's looking stupendously cute at the moment. Trunkie was bought for Alex's first Christmas, when he was a mere month old, and has somehow survived the abuse that toys get in this house. It's nice to see another little one playing with him.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sleepy Sunday


After a hectic week here, we had a gentle weekend. Yesterday was IKEA, and today we built a chest of drawers, sorted out my fabric stash and liberated a bin-bag full of it.  
Don't worry, it went to freecycle, not landfill. Then we made scones for tea, with an obscene quantity of jam and clotted cream, and they were seriously good. I've been spinning the other half of the rainbow roving, and I THINK I'm going to use the organic gansey pattern again to make River a slightly larger jumper. It's all good.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lumpy bumpy

Well, those were the words that my adorable offspring used when faced with my latest handspun. Yes, chainplying highlights and reveals the bold blocks of colour in a variegated single, accentuating and highlighting the nuances. Yes, it's a three-ply yarn BUT it's also very hard to do. This definitely isn't one of my best- but spinning fever rolls on without it. Next to the wheel is some Ronaldsey.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Crisis point

Yesterday, I broke. Our family went to Poole- the place I went to on my one and only night away without my children, which I hoped could become our new seaside destination of choice. And it was dreadful :( Screaming baby, the boys were their usual unthinking selves, running around and around in circles like dodgems at a fairground and Steve told them to calm down. And my mum told me to let it go. What do you DO in a situation like that where two people that you love are going to be in conflict whatever you do? It feels like my husband and my sons are tearing me in two and that everywhere I go, people are judging me for being a bad mother. Why did she have another one? She can't handle the ones she's got. THIS is the exact phrase that I have running through my head when I catch people looking at my family, commenting on my beautiful baby son. I can't get rid of it, can't make it go away. It feels like I am constantly, constantly being judged and found wanting.
So it kept going, and then it led to an argument when we got home and a panic attack- first one this pregnancy. I hate my brain right now, I just wish it would go away. Please make it stop.
Oh, and Poole? The drive was horrendous and the tide was in. Figures.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Comfort knitting

I'm currently about a step away from ripping Isaac's jumper to shreds in a blaze of fury, and being honest, the only thing that has stopped me is the fact that I've cast off both the first sleeve and the bottom, the second sleeve is still on a lifeline and it's a bit more work than I like. He really is working his ticket at the moment.
This led to me remembering that 2008 was the year of knitting for someone who would really appreciate it (i.e. me) and I cast on for Labyrinth in the black alpaca that I got from the charity shop over in Thatcham. And it's wonderful- just simple and soothing and the gentle rhythm of yards and yards of stocking stitch is good for the soul. I haven't bothered posting a picture yet because there's a limit to how excited you can get about stocking stitch in black, but I like it. Very soft, but there's a strength and substance to it too. It feels like a very positive metaphor for life right now.
River is in the midst of the growth spurt from hell at the moment. In the last 48 hours he's started rolling, laughing and grabbing for things, and it isn't over yet. I'm scared of what the next few days will bring- he really is growing up far too fast.