Thursday, December 13, 2007

What’s Darker Than The Inside Of Your Eyeballs?

Daylight! It’s so dark here only a week or so before the shortest day of the year that I have to have lights on in my kitchen at noon just to see what I’m doing as I make lunch. (Don’t think I’d enjoy a finger sandwich somehow.) A few minutes ago it was raining but right now it’s turned to snow. Can’t you tell I was planning to go out today and get a haircut and some groceries? Not happening. So call me a wuss — but I’m a warm, dry wuss with a cup of hot tea and my spinning. Maybe I’ll get a start on the stocking I’m supposed to be making for the grandson. I don’t know why I’ve been avoiding sewing lately. I did manage to vacuum all the dirt out of the sewing machine after replacing the zipper on T-Man’s leaf blower/vacuum thing. It’s all ready to purr. The stocking has to be done by the 23rd so I’d better get on it soon. She says blithely, as she continues to knit and read instead.

The closer it gets to The Big Day the less I want to go anywhere near a store of any kind. Malls especially are to be avoided like the plague. Luckily I don’t drive because I sure wouldn’t want to go jousting with all those not-so-cheerful shoppers for the last parking space within 20 kilometers. Unfortunately when I walk, I still have to hunt for whatever it is I came for on the rearranged shelves in the festively over-decorated store and then stand in interminable lines to pay for it. Every year since I decided not to participate in the annual frenzy, I’m reminded just why I opted out. Not for Scrooge-ish or Grinchy reasons you realize, but just for my own personal well-being and sanity. If you don’t believe me, ask my husband. He’ll tell you how it was making me crazier every year before I wised up to the fact that I could just say no to Christmas giving. It definitely took a few extra years of feeling slightly (ok, maybe a lot) guilty until everybody got the message but the fact that this was the best decision for me is borne out by how serene I feel this year.

Note To Family And Friends: if you really feel inspired to get me a gift, instead please do one of two things. Either buy yourself something you really wanted or give to a deserving charity and think of me while you do it. That will make me happier than anything you could gift me with. Thank you for understanding.

Of course I’ve kept the parts of the holiday season that I really do enjoy — the cooking, baking, eating, drinking and visiting with loved ones. Lots of lights and some of the decorations, the ones I feel like putting up. Watching my favourite movies: Nightmare Before Christmas and the original Grinch cartoon. Maybe even the Alastair Sims version of A Christmas Carol. Giving a toast to the Return of the Sun. (There are few members of our family who are practicing Christians which tends to naturally limit the more religious observances.) The laughter and hugs and kisses. All the important stuff. I just leave out all the craziness, the stress, the anxiety, the disappointment and the January bills. Works for me.

Gee, and here I was trying to avoid my annual rant. Hope it was a little softer this year. Reflecting the happy and serene December 2007 Damselfly. Who is most definitely not going out in the rain/snow today. Even though she ought to. We have food and the haircut can wait.

What? You want some crafty content on this here blog? Oh alright. But I warn you it’s pretty boring. I’ve turned the heels on both OYT socks and finished the gussets and am now sweeping down the feet. I’ve got about 6 inches worth of the Hepburn Cardi’s back done. It’s a lot easier working on a straight piece than on something like the sleeves where you have to keep track of increases and decreases. I almost don’t need to look at the chart now that the pattern is becoming automatic. I still have to look at the stitches while I’m working but at least I can “watch” TV while I knit, glancing up every now and then to check on the action.

I have about 180 grams/435 yards of the first madder wool all spun and plied. I’m afraid that the remaining wool, which doesn’t quite match the first, is almost equal in amount. I need to decide how to make that work with my pattern, which already needs to be heavily revised. I won’t worry about it though until I’ve got more yarn spun up. I’ve been enjoying spinning what for me is rather thick yarn, around worsted weight, at just over 1000 yards per pound. I seem to have been getting finer and finer recently so it’s a challenge to go thicker again. BTW here’s a chart for standard yarn sizing. It might help when you’re trying to substitute yarns especially handspun for commercial yarns but I don’t think it has enough categories on it nor does it have enough information for each one. I was never much for the “wraps per inch” thing that spinners often use because I never can figure out how close to make the wraps and my results vary wildly every time I try it. Here’s a pretty good explanation though if you find it useful.

Warned you this would be boring. And technical too. Hmmm...the snow is beginning to stick! Which makes it a wee bit brighter in here. But not much.

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