Saturday, October 29, 2011

Follow the Trail Marker

A little Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I think the drought and other conditions have stunted the poor thing.

I love the pattern of the worm trails on this dead tree.
Another dead tree adorned with lichens. I couldn't focus well on the fuzzy ones. But it was gorgeous!

I know you are not supposed to go off trail, but I did wander a little bit to get this photo of the lake from the trail. I have no clue what that streak of light is to the left of the golden brown tree in the middle.
All around the visitor's center they have planted a bunch of little trees. They were all red, while everything else, especially the indigenous trees, are yellows and browns. Sumac is deep blood red. There is a dogwood up close to the building, and it is a deep red color.

So why am I showing you all these photos? Is there a story here? I just wanted to explain a little bit.

Everyone is quite aware that this is the end of October. Monday is All Hallows Eve-Samhain for some- and for others, the night we are closest to spirits that wander. Tuesday is All Saints Day. The day to honor our ancestors and others who have passed on.

This is the season that we start to go into hibernation. We go deep into ourselves and we close up the house, and we get really quiet. We use up our stores.

We just had a New Moon cycle last week. With that cycle and the end of season cycle combined, I "went down into the well" We had two days of dark and gloomy and wet. I could see that winter was going to be a long time of dark and gloomy. I became dark and gloomy. I tried to do spinning-nyet! I tried to do knitting-nyet! So I watched mindless t.v. and slept a lot.

So to restore my balance and give me some new energy, I loaded up Patty today and headed to the woods. I did not care that it is the end of the cycle of colored leaves. There is still lots of color to see. I replenished my mental supplies with how the colors interacted together. As I drove to the destination, I observed how the yellows and brown and the greens melted together. I got ideas for dye combinations. I replenished!

And, yes, I got a confirmation last night that I have another order for yarn. And, yes, I needed to buckle down and spin today and finish the first bobbin of alpaca I started yesterday.

But I went to the woods. I needed to see the last day of glorious weather-maybe the last day. We never know. I just know it was perfect. A little windy, but warm and sunny and bright enough to put on sunglasses.

I observed what I needed to observe to replenish!


So now I can focus on what I need to do and finish the order. I can study the various yellows I have dyed and think about how to combine them into a yarn I might like.

I just took the banana bread out of the oven, and I think I will now go eat a bite of that.

Happy Halloween-Samhain-All Hallows Eve! Light a candle Tuesday for your ancestors to let them know that you are thinking of them.

I hope that you realize that this cycle is normal for everyone. It is not abnormal to be sad that the season is changing. Our culture just focuses on being young, happy, and thin. Just remember that your ancestors knew that this is the time to go deep inside yourself and find the balance that is needed to get you through the next cycle of seasons. Just remember to replenish your stores and you will get through the dark and gloomy times.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Is Knitting An Addiction?

Ten Key Signs of Having an Addiction
Whether it's drug use, sex or overspending, do you wonder if your behavior is crossing the line into addiction? Dr. Gary Stollman, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist who helps individuals overcome self-defeating patterns of behavior. He gives 10 key signs of having an addiction:

1) Recurrent failure (pattern) to resist impulses. 2) Frequently engaging in those behaviors to a greater extent or over a longer period of time than intended. 3) Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to stop, reduce or control those behaviors. 4) Inordinate amount of time spent in obtaining the object of addiction and/or engaging in or recovering from the behavior. 5) Preoccupation with the behavior or preparatory activities. 6) Frequently engaging in behavior when expected to fulfill occupational, academic, domestic or social obligations. 7) Continuation of the behavior despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent social, academic, financial, psychological or physical problem that is caused or exacerbated by the behavior. 8) Need to increase the intensity, frequency, number or risk of behaviors to achieve the desired effect, or diminished effect with continued behaviors at the same level of intensity, frequency, number or risk. 9) Giving up or limiting social, occupational or recreational activities because of the behavior. 10) Resorting to distress, anxiety, restlessness or violence if unable to engage in the behavior at times.

I got this off of

The reason I ask the question is because I am presently reading The Yarn Harlot's newest book. There is an essay about this very question. She only thought of it because one of her family members claimed she was a Yarn Addict. So she went to the library and looked up info in the DSM to see if this was true. As with any other addiction, she was able to explain it all away, and she didn't think she has a problem.

So today I am watching Dr. Phil while plying my current spinning project. As usual, it was about some whiny, spoiled little girl who was mad at her parents for their divorce and she is a drug addict. There was a line scrolled across the bottom that led you to go to to find the ten signs of addiction.

So, okay, we can certainly find faults with ourselves, so I called a friend that attends AA regularly (like 4 times a week), and I ran this by him. He said he didn't think I had to worry too much. Whew!

I know I have an addiction personality. I was anorexic until my middle 20's, and I was told by my therapist that I have an addiction personality. If I am not consumed with eating problems, then I substitute something else. Luckily I don't gamble (unless you talk about bad pattern selection) and I don't drink and I don't smoke and I am too old to worry about sex any more. So I knit a LOT. And I spin, and I dye, and I spend my days filled with fiber goodness.

And as for #8-I think it is pretty safe to say that attempting to do more challenging stuff like fair isle, or lace, or intarsia is not harmful to my health.

And as for #9-my social life revolves around knitting. I go to Knit Night when I need to socialize. I don't think it is so awful to decline a social event because you can't take your knitting with you.

My sweater does not seem to be growing very much. I am at the point when I want it to be done. I want it to be time to separate the tops so I can knit the yoke. I keep measuring and it doesn't seem to be growing. Hopefully soon.

I spent the day Sunday with CJE and playing with fiber. We measured out all the yarn she has done with her spindle (Navajo plied) and wound them up into yarn cakes, and then I put them in plastic zip-locks with the measurements inside. They are ready for her to knit now.

Signs of Fall are abounding. The trees are turning rapidly. The fronts are coming in sooner than I want them to. We have had clouds all day with misty rain. Temperatures dropped all day. There will be rain tonight with the front. The birds are eating at the feeder now. The geese are migrating. And this weekend is the work weekend at Mirkwood.

And the ads on TV are advertising Lay-Away for Christmas and what are you doing for Thanksgiving? Yikes! It is only a month until Thanksgiving! Hard to believe.

I tried to rearrange the kitchen today, but I don't like the refrigerator and freezer sticking out into the space so much. So I just cleaned well behind things and swept the floor well. I guess the thought of closing up the house for the winter is getting to me. I have been cleaning a lot. Maybe I will rearrange the living room.

Patty really needs to go to the groomer, but I want her hair to grow out more. I trimmed her eyebrows and around her mouth. She is really energized by all the cooler weather. Noodles has been eating more rodents and staying in more. Another sign of a change.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What a Beautiful Day!

I know this is stretching my imagination, but I saw a heart shape in my bread today while I was putting a sandwich together.

I have been enjoying this warm weather. It is so strange to know that any minute now we could be in cold weather. In fact, next week may be our first frost. It is good to get out and store up some Vitamin D. I read today that older people cannot manufacture Vit. D as well as younger humans.

We had a goodly amount of rain, even some thunder boomers. That made things a little more tolerable. I hope to goodness that today was the last day I have to mow for the season. I actually did some trim mowing as well, since I have not been keeping up with that in the heat.

CJE and I went to the weaving meeting last Saturday and then we went to Winslow to the FiberFest. She badgered me into putting a few things into the show to give support to the community of the event. Well-I won third place for my handspun socks. CF made the comment "Those aren't even your prettiest socks!" Yes, I know that, but they are handspun, handknit socks. Oh, well.

CJE won Best of Show for her shirt she made for AE. It is made from cotton they grew, she spun, she wove the fabric, and she sewed the shirt. I think she certainly deserved the award. She also won a prize for her quivuit scarf and her gloves.

I am plugging away on my handspun sweater. I have two more weeks to meet my self-imposed deadline for it. We will see. I have four more inches to knit until I divide at the armholes for the yoke. Probably not, huh? We will see.

I also started a pair of plain old socks with some self-patterning yarn in my stash bowl. I also started a Scalene scarf from some stash yarn and some black I picked up at the yarn shop. It has 5% cashmere in it, and it is SOFT!

I took my car in for service Wednesday. I normally have to wait for about 1 hour, and I get a little knitting done. This time I was there for 2 1/2 hours and I got a lot of knitting done. I worked on both the scarf and the sock in my bag, and I read a little bit of my book. I was not very patient, but I tried to think positive-"Look how much work you are getting done on this scarf and sock." "Big whoo! I can do that much at home, too!" I told self. Oh, well. The car is serviced and ready for winter.

The leaves are trying to turn color now. Unfortunately, I think the dry spell did make them unhappy. But I love to see the colors in the Fall!

Leaves are verbs that conjugate the seasons.

-Gretel Ehrlich

So this week we had a FREE day to drop off electronic stuff. I was so happy to get rid of an old computer, an old phone, a printer, and several other things. I was happy to drag them out from under the bed and out of the house. I had to figure out how to delete info from the computer, but I already had purchased the cable to transfer stuff from the old computer to the new one. I then could not figure out how to delete the info from the old computer. I Googled it, and all you do is Restore your computer back to a date before any files or programs were in it. I used the Restore program CD that came with the computer. It worked. Problem solved. Unless you are the FBI or CIA or someone that can pull something out, I think it is safe.

So this has been a busy week. CJE and JE met me at Bella Vista to go to one of the arts/craft shows yesterday. Just a bunch of STUFF! I did buy some seasoning packages for soups. There was Knit Night last night. And tomorrow is spinning group. So I am really behind in my schedule of things to get done. Yard work had to be done, and the car had to be serviced. But soon it will be time to stay inside again, and I will catch up with the work.

Have a GREAT weekend. Enjoy yourselves and get out to store up some Vitamin E.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Let's Dye!

After washing, I came out with a soft, dull, yellow. It was a clear dye, but the color is not brilliant. I tried various places and could not get a true picture of the color-sorry!

With the leftover flowers, I made a fabric bundle to dye and was hoping for some pattern to appear where the flowers were placed.

When it was completed, unwrapped, and washed, it was an allover yellow color that was pretty. It did not have any hints of pattern from the flowers. Oh, well. It was a fabric that I had already dyed with compost, so this just added a new dimension to the fabric.

And then there was clean-up. My least favorite part of the job. I always do a soap and wash job, and it is always ready for the next time. It is all put up and ready when I get another wild hair to push my luck on the natural dyeing.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 1! Yikes!

Hey, Mom! Mom! Mom! Is this the Animal Planet channel? Mom!

He really does hit the button while I am watching some show and knitting, and suddenly there is some conversation or commercial that does not go with what I had tuned into. I look up and realize that Noodles has hit the button again. And yes, the sun is warm and toasty and makes everyone sleepy. Sleepy. Sleepy.

Not a lot to report. I am sure this month is going to be a crazy month. October always is. The second weekend is the weekend that there are something like 6 arts/crafts shows going on. We will be getting the leaf lurkers out, driving around checking to see what the back roads are doing for Fall color.

This weekend there have been bikers around everywhere. It is the weekend of Bikes, Blues, and Bar-b-que. They run around in gaggles. The locals that drive cars either get scared of the group of bikers and slow down really, really slow, or they get angry at the bikers and hope they run them off the road as they drive too close. Yesterday I drove up to Bentonville, and I had to watch for both kinds of car drivers and the crazy bikers who dart in and out of traffic.

I began knitting a hat with the Targhee wool yarn I won at the fiber festival in July. I loved it so much that I ordered more of it from Gail at Ozark Carding Mill. So the hat is frogged and I am waiting for the yarn. I think I will have enough to knit a sweater. It is sport weight, and is semi-worsted spun. So a tight wool yarn. I think I may knit a gansey. I am not sure yet. I have to get through with the handspun sweater first. I am half-way through with the lower body up to the armpit.

My friend OSM is visiting her property in Oklahoma and just called to find out my schedule. How come I am suddenly busy when usually I putz around day to day with no plans? I am working part-time this week helping a friend out and I am teaching a crochet class Wednesday night. O sounded so let-down when I told her I would have to let her know later this week. I guess she thought I would be available and was planning to do something.

So just a little checking in and yes, I am knitting. But nothing new or exciting to report. H got her socks and they fit and she loves them.

Kindle has a new thing called Kindle Fire. They are surely trying to compete with Nook right now. It is exciting, but I am waiting to see what happens to all this. I like my reader I have just fine.

Take care. Enjoy the cool evenings and enjoy being outside while the weather allows. Have a fun weekend. Later.