Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's Been A Long Time Since.....

This pretty alpaca fluff was bought at an alpaca show in December, 2007. I thought it was so pretty. The woman who sold it said her husband calls it "Road Kill".
It isn't "Road Kill" anymore. It is a pretty tweedy something. What I did find out during my spinning is the difference in the two animals. The black one was named Maya, but she did not know the name of the white one. The black was smoother and less crimp, and it was a little more difficult to spin. The white was softer, fluffier, and had more crimp. I did not try to do anything other than I would pull off a bit, draft it a little, and spin. There is 4 ozs and I might think about writing them a letter and getting some more. I somehow instinctively liked the black-white combo, and it sure turned out pretty. The other thing I found out is it was really dirty. I washed it with a little bit of Orvus and lavender oil prior to blocking on my blocker. Well, there was yucky water, so I rinsed it twice. I ended up with 359 yards. I also finished up the Regia Bamboo socks. I used a waffle pattern, but it is stretched out on the foot. But I like the visual texture since the colors are blended so well. Noodles could care less about them.

I have also finished a shawlette that I knit with Trendsetter Yarns Dune. There was a pattern with the yarn. It is super, super, super easy, until I got to the self-fringing part. I started to unravel the fringe section, and it was awful. So I knew enough to stop that minute until I could get myself together for this. I have it laid out flat on the ironing board and I am picking it out with a tool I have for pottery. It looks something like a dental pick, but thicker and heavier. The mohair seems to not want to unravel, and it sticks to itself. So occasionally I do an itty-bitty snip with my scissors. I guess this self-fringing thing is like steeking. One has to just trust the procedure. I couldn't get my head around it, and I just started tugging. And it unraveled. Bit-by-bit. Not like pull a string and zip it goes down the row. This is one fringe at a time. I will show a picture when I get this finished. And the pattern does not call for any blocking, but I do not like the uncontrollable roll around the top. So I am going to do a wee bit of blocking there to ease out that little problem.

Otherwise I am doing nothing. I am trying to conserve on gas and not drive anywhere. I saw a most depressing show on Bill Moyers last night. It was about the abject poverty that some people are living in. Especially the elderly. Food banks are running out of food, and soup kitchens are now serving more families than every before. And then to insult that emotion, they did a segment on subsidies that the government is paying some farmers. So--some farmers in Texas and other places have figured out it is best to just not farm that land, and just bank the money from the subsidy. It is a LOT of money. Some farmers put the crop in storage, bank the subsidy, and when the price for the crop goes up, they sell the corn or whatever. Oh, and in Texas they showed a tiny acreage that was called something like a farmette. Enough that someone could build a HUGE house and have enough to put a horse in back. They are selling the land with the promise of subsidy from the government!

Anyway, my girlfriend sent me a cartoon yesterday that showed a couple sitting at their kitchen table with their rebate check in their hands. He turns to her and says, "Should we pay for our prescriptions, pay our electric bill, or should we just put gas in the car?" Sad, isn't it? If I get a rebate check it will be for bills, too. The last time I got a rebate check it was taxed the next year as income. So what's the deal?

Anyway, I did not mean to rant and rave. It is a blessing that I have so much. And with that I will go back to trying to make fringe out of knitted mohair! What a task!

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