Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thanksgiving Reflections

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in Canada but we had our big family dinner on Sunday. It was a lovely gathering – except that poor T-Man felt totally crappy thanks to The Cold. He was very subdued and pale and tried not to leave his germs for anybody to pick up. Hopefully he succeeded. I’m personally thankful that I’m now pretty much over The Cold and have started to catch up on unfinished work. T was supposed to go to work yesterday but he stayed in bed most of the day. Today he’s working from home so he doesn’t spread his germs around. Though it’s quite possible that’s where the darn thing came from in the first place.

I’m thankful for many things in my life. Number One is T-Man. We’re currently celebrating 40 years since we met and fell head-over-teakettle in love. I’m also thankful for our wonderful extended family. It just keeps getting bigger! And I’m thankful for the life that T and I have built together, our home and garden and crafty stashes, and enough money to pay the bills with some left for the fun stuff. We aren’t really rich in a financial sense but we’re very rich in all the things that really count.

In crafty news, I’ve been trying to finish T’s Back Home Blues birthday socks. I’m at the toe decreases on one but only halfway down the foot on the other. I tried to wind the green-gold comfrey/copper/coreopsis-dyed skein of alpaca lace yarn into a ball and had it pop off the ballwinder not once, not twice, but 4 times! By that point I had some still on the skeinwinder with a strand attached to one ball with its centre pulled out and that attached to a second ball with its centre pulled out and the end of that attached to the ballwinder. It looked like green alien guts. I didn’t panic but carefully tried to keep everything in order so I could try to wind it up again. I’m thankful that the Henry’s Attic Alpaca Lace yarn is quite strong and not prone to either felting or drifting apart. It takes quite awhile to wind over 1200 yards into a ball though. Several times over. With pauses for untangling and unknotting. This time I got smart and dug out some coarse sandpaper and used it to scratch up the plastic cone on the ballwinder to roughen it enough for the yarn to stick better. Success! The yarn a bit fuzzy now but that just adds to its charm. It made me start the Laminaria Shawl.

This yarn is called “lace” but is actually more like “cobweb” even though it’s a 2-ply. This is quite a lot finer than more normal lace yarn called for in the Laminaria pattern. I started on size 3.25mm needles but frogged that and began again on 3mm Addi Lace circs. I like it much better. Somehow I prefer my lace to have a bit of body and a clear difference between holes and solid parts. I believe that’s probably what I didn’t like about poor abandoned Zetor that I was making in a similarly-sized mohair yarn on 3.5 needles. It’s too airy and I can’t differentiate the pattern very well. A tiny bit tighter (only half a millimeter needle size) and I’m much more satisfied. This will make the large-sized Laminaria shawl somewhat smaller but it was pretty big anyway. If I think it’s coming out too small I can always do another repeat of the middle pattern area. However, I only have around 1200 yds of this yarn and no chance of getting exactly the same colour ever again. Not even if I used exactly the same dyestuffs and the same amounts. If I run out I’ll just have to put a rusty edge on it with my other skein of plant-dyed yarn! Hopefully I won’t have to. It's too dark now to photograph the wee bit I've completed so far.

Well, today is election day in Canada and we’ve gone out and done our bit and voted. Now we can bitch without guilt because we’ve at least tried to put the best guy we could in parliament. I doubt whoever gets in in our riding is going to change sides on us this time anyway. Everyone kicked up a big fuss when it happened last time but apparently it’s legal, if not particularly moral. I’m hoping for the best for our country but who knows? At least I’m thankful I live here and not somewhere else. As T always says, things could be worse.

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