August 25, 2008

The Sky is Falling!

Ok, not really the sky (what would pieces of the sky look/feel like?), but raindrops. Some of that 'monsoonal moisture' finally made it west of the coastal mountains, and here at my house we had a brief soaking. I hope it washed the solar panels clean.

Hootie Kitty Update: Not quite 2 weeks ago I took Hootie back to our regular clinic, but this time to meet with Dr. Hall, who has much surgical experience and has removed kitty tumors before with good success. Dr. H felt Hootie was a good candidate for a surgical cure. So last Tuesday, Hootie had surgery and came home minus a tumor, and still in possession of 4 functioning legs. The surgery went about as well as possible, and there was no evidence of any spread. I should have the histopathology reports in another day or so.

Besides weather watching and stressing over my cat, the family, including dogs and + one Offspring Friend, took a brief road trip up to San Francisco in order to visit colleges. After all, Offspring #1 is a senior in high school now. The Berkeley and Davis campuses were everyones' favorites. The dogs were the best travellers; they don't bicker in the car, complain about one's driving, or have any negative feedback about the food they're given to eat. :-) I knit while riding in the car, and practiced using a drop spindle during down time at the hotel room. Oh, sorry. I've posted so little lately that I don't think I mentioned the drop spindle before. I decided a must have one before this trip, so I could have some portable spinning. Its a bottom whorl, and it seemed really fiddly to learn at first, but then suddenly I was able to spin!

BTW, Westin Hotels are now doggable and there is one near the SF Airport in Millbrae that is right across the street from a bay trail path, a great place to walk the pooches.

Here at home I've been learning about making fleece into yarn. So far, it is much more time consuming than I expected. I've washed about 1 lb of rambouillet and 2.5 lbs of cormo x without felting it up. But I can see I'll want to be even more careful next time around. I didn't try too hard to preserve the locks during washing, and so some bits can really only be opened up with carding. Which wouldn't be so bad if I was any good at, or knew the first thing about, carding.

And it takes a long time to make enough rolags for a good spinning session. I am getting better with carding, but my first efforts seemed all neps connected by a few fibers, it doesn't spin up very pretty. I think it will be okay for felting projects though. The results are much better if I remove visible neps before I load the carder. The flick carder (aka, a kitty slicker) works very well for removing neps and debris and for opening up locks that I didn't screw up during washing. BTW, 2.5 lbs of washed fleece fills a king size pillow case.

Even though I can plainly see that much more knitting and spinning would be accomplished if I was buying prepared roving, top or batts, I still love the idea of fleece. And I have more coming, at least one black rambouillet fleece, and I think a white one, and a white merino, a little bit of brown merino and gosh, I'd really like maybe a silver/grey or brown rambouillet/cormo/merino as well... Here's to hoping I don't end up sick of fleece/wool before I spin it all. :-)

I'm focused so much on spinning right now that Tina says I'm cheating on my knitting, but really isn't it just keeping the love all in the family? Now that the boys are in school again, my knitting will get more attention as I wait to pick the guys up after school.

1 comment:

  1. hee. cheating ;). well, beats me and my serious super long term relationship with my lady E. I can't wait to see more of the stuff you've spun up!