Monday, November 14, 2005

What Comes After 2 Days of Rain?

Answer: Monday! After many more than 2 days of dark dreary rain, it was so nice to see the sun today. Of course it showed up all the dirt on the kitchen floor and the grubby windows but who cares? I started sweeping off the back deck and then got completely carried away raking leaves out of my vegetable garden. I only got them into piles however — Somebody Else is going to have to bag them. Plus there’s plenty more leaves left on the walnut and chestnut trees so we’re not done with them yet. I do love the smell of walnut leaves. It’s very different from anything else.

I don’t love the smell of the other walnut product that I created out of the squirrel-chewed walnuts I managed to rescue. I put a bunch in a big bucket and allowed it to fill up with rain. Well actually the bucket didn’t have a lid so the rain was inadvertent. It’s been out there in the garden since about August so it’s getting really ripe about now. Today I filtered out all the muck (which went into the compost) and poured the lovely brown but somewhat smelly liquid into one of my dyepots. That was as far as I got before getting sidetracked by the leaf raking business. I’m hoping this will be strong enough to dye some wool but I’m a bit nervous about bringing it into the house until I’m ready to go. Who knows how much the stink might increase when it’s heated! I’ve been hoping to dye with the walnuts for years but so far never got around to it. This time, it’s in my best stainless steel dyepot so it will encourage me to do something to get it out of there.

I also want you to see these lovely NZ rovings from Aurelia in Victoria, BC. The first one is called Boysenberry Glitter (red, grape, berry, and raspberry sparkles) and that’s what is on my bobbin. The second one is Tamarillo (wine, black, jade, and olive) and it’s going to be spun and plied with the first roving to A) give me twice as much yarn and B) tone down the “My Little Pony”/“Sugar Plum Fairy” sweetness of the Boysenberry Glitter. This combination is recommended by Aurelia’s owner, Andrea, who has spun and knit some samples of everything she carries. Unlike most multi-coloured rovings, these have the colours in strips laying side by side. That gives you lots of different ways to spin them for different effects. I’m trying for the Golf Spin — aka spin it as it lies and don’t try to influence what colour comes up. It’s hard to be random!

Also notice the lovely neon green drive band currently sported by my wheel. Poor Klaus the Louet S90 had his driveband break and it would not melt and stick back together. So I remembered the S'getti String I had in my stash and tried that with a tight knot. It occasionally jumps down to a smaller whorl but it has been holding fine. The trick is to pre-stretch the String a lot, tie the square knot, hold it in your mouth for 20 seconds, and then yard on it really hard to make the knot as tight and small as possible. It holds pretty tight after that. This stuff is manufactured for braiding lanyards and friendship bracelets for kids. It comes in really bright colours which is a big change from the boring black band that lasted for about 13 years.

I also had to frog a whole inch of my current Jaywalker sock. I had a glitch that was too obvious for me and I felt I’d be happier if I eliminated it. I’m not quite back to where I was before the trip to the pond.

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