Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Promised Pics

Here's the promised pictures. This is Murphy, building block castles. He's had these blocks since he was a baby, and never showed any interest. Last week (probably due to cabin fever!) he discovered making castles with them.

This is the castle that Aunt Merridee gave him for Christmas last year. We tucked it away and pulled it out recently, and he's been having a blast. He discovered that he can WRITE things on it with the markers, and is so pleased with himself. He wrote "Flawers for Mom" on it, under his drawing of some flowers; very cute.

This is my new baby. She's much smaller than she looks in the picture, and weighs practically nothing. I'm told she was made in Alsace, France around 1810-1820. She's beautiful and delicate and spins the finest yarn I've ever been able to spin, truly a lace weight, and maybe even a cobweb, when I get a little better. She's a little creaky, though much improved with some Woodbeams and oil. I'm spinning the Ramboulliet that I got at the Santa Monica Fiber Festival on her, and it's coming out gorgeous. I'm trying to find the perfect name for her; maybe I should hold a contest. I'm looking for a very delicate french name, preferably starting with the letter D.

This is the side view. It's a double drive wheel, which I've never used before, so it took a little adjustment. It's also a single treadle which I've never used before. I find I do prefer the double treadle, as it's less tiring for me, but I love her anyway. The bobbin is so tiny! I'll be surprised if it holds two ounces of fiber, though at laceweight, that is still a fair amount of yarn. I'm hoping to dye it something yummy and maybe, just maybe, actually knit a lace shawl.

I'm doing lots of knitting, most of which is being frogged, these days. I'm learning so much! I want to complete a pair of socks but just can't seem to get there. I finally have my Trekking socks started, and I'm about four inches into the leg. Rather than get frustrated trying to focus enough to follow a pattern, I'm simply doing stockinette stitch, just to got the sock DONE. I'm also working on a few things that hopefully will be Christmas gifts, so I can't discuss here, but several of them involve new techniques, so they're progressing slowly. I'll try to get pictures up... someday...

Been A Long Time Coming

So, between hosting Thanksgiving, the Birthday Week from Hell, various and sundry illnesses, the Christmas rush, and work being a wee tad stressful, I haven't blogged in a while. So today, I'm home sick from work, so I'll see how long I can remain vertical with these meds and try to get caught up.

Thanksgiving was fun, actually. I love having my sister-in-law Merridee and her family over. They're good people. I got just the right amount of help and the food was fabulous, if I do say so myself! We had SIX pies and a 22 lb turkey and amazingly few leftovers. Guests included Mammama and her husband Bill, and his dog Max, Merridee, Terry, Brian and Kelsey, and Peru's cousin Kevin, as well as my crew. It was really nice to see everyone. We'll all be getting together for Christmas as well.

Then, way too quickly, comes the Birthday Week from Hell. Eric's birthday is Dec. 4th, mine is the 6th, and Peru's is the 7th. With Eric's college schedule we didn't see each other more than 15 seconds all week, so celebrations were pretty much nil. We did get lovely packages from Nana and Grampy and The Sweenys with wonderous things for us all though, and then on Saturday we went to Joe's Crab Shack to celebrate. Joe's Crab Shack? Honestly, it was awful! Don't get me wrong, it was fun; it's got a lovely view of the very choppy ocean at sunset, which was gorgeous, and it has a playground for Murphy, who had a blast. But the food was awful! And way way way over priced. We'd wanted to try it for a long time though; now we know, and I don't think we'll be back! We'll stick to Sea Fresh for our seafood, thank you; even though their prices went up recently, at least the food is worth it there!

For presents? I got a lovely bath set from Nana, and a really cute Advent Calendar. Barbara knitted me a stole that was just what I wanted; really long to wrap all around, and warm, and a lovely blue/turquoise/purple color that is so soft to touch. Eric's gift really touched me; he broke my gravy boat after Thanksgiving (it was really slippery!) so he gave me a lovely antique one, with a poinsettia on it, and a lovely matching dish. Really, very sweet of him. My darling hubby gave me a bundle of knitting tools and implements which I thoughtfully had put together for him to give me! Really, my spinning wheel was my present, and I really need to get pictures of her up on the blog!

Murphy was sick all last week. It's so hard to tell with him if he's really sick or just having allergies. Sometimes they morph into each other. He had a fever for a few days, so I figure that's sick. Then Saturday, Eric looked like death. Yesterday it was me. Sinuses hurt so bad my teeth ached, my head pounded, even my hair hurt. Was trying to put out a fire at work so I could leave ASAP, only to find out two hours later that the Bossman resolved it and neglected to mention it. Argggh. So I"m home recupperating today.

Breed Swap is coming along. I have almost all of the research entered and formated; I think I have two more breeds to do. Then to start printing it! and collating the fiber - oh my! But it has been fun and man, I have learned a lot!

And yesterday I heard from my "Spin Me A Treasure" mystery pal! Very cool! She slugged through this blog all the way back to September, I think! Patient woman! This should be fun. I really enjoy these swaps, and this one was started internationally, though most participants are still from the US. Maybe after the swap I'll try.... what am I out of my mind????

I'm still sloggin away at Christmas. I was hoping to get more fibery stuff done, but it's just not working out that way. Not enough time! And I haven't mentioned my second job at Artful Living, a craft store here in Ojai. Barbara Beck, the owner, took a shine to me and offered me a chance to help her out on occasion in exchange for goods in lieu of pay. So I get yummy fibers or really mostly books in return for working about two hours a week. If only she could give me insurance it'd be full time! How cool would that be? Sigh....

Well I'll try later to get some pictures of the Murph up later; the Theraflu is kicking in and I'm finding it hard to type...