Saturday, October 16, 2010

New fiber

    My spinning teacher is about to close her shop. In fact, today was the last day.  She will still be working out of her home, but her shop was very sweet - she has a HUGE floor loom that is in the front window, shelves of fiber ready to be spun, and a workroom in back for dyeing the fibers.  I popped in yesterday to buy some wool for Christmas presents.

So far this Romney Lambswool is spinning up quickly. I am loking forward to working with the brown and rose in combination.    I also grabbed four ounces of a merino/silk blend - can't wait to get moving on that!

Isn't this gorgeous?  And it is so soft.  I have a specific person in mind to be receiving a gift from this. 
    I plied some of the violet Lincoln Cross Wool I had been spinning on and off for the past couple of months (maybe longer - time compresses when school is in session).  It looks okay - fairly balanced.

These are photos of the exact same spool, but they look radically different.   The top photo is closer to the actual colour.  You can see a touch of grey in the top picture. This is because periodically I added small handfuls of grey in with the purple, so when I knit it will have the occasional soft grey and purple striping.  I hope I get the results I intended!
     I have to get the needles out and get to work - Christmas is only two months away!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Swim meets and cross country

   I am becoming adept at driving to the high school/middle school complex in our town, picking up  children from practices, depositing them at their respective homes and going back for more.  I seem to be making constant circles from my house to the kids' schools, to friends houses and then back - at least two trips per afternoon are required, unless it is a meet day - then all bets are off.
   I have to admit to being one of those mom's who screams at meets. And mutters.  And whispers.  I watch  my son take off in a cross country race and I yell for him to go fast, stay with the pack, etc. Then as he gets out of ear shot I whisper at him to, "stay on the course", "don't stop to pet someone's dog" or plain old, "Don't Stop."  He has a tendency  to get lost on the cross country trails at away meets.  He really does stop in the middle of a race to pet any dog he sees.  Sometimes, he really just stops, and walks or talks to himself.
    Winning is not important to him.  He is just thrilled to be part of the team.  We are thrilled he has this wonderful team to be a part of.  Every child on this team has, in some way, aided, encouraged, guided or taught my son.  There are runners on other teams who now know him and cheer him on, even if he is in last place (which he is, most of the time), because he does that for all the other runners on every team in every race, until every runner comes in.  I must admit, seeing that is more gratifying than seeing him bring home a trophy.
    I did not get to today's meet, but my husband said that the star runner on the girls' cross country team had placed folks along the route to keep our son on the course and focussed.  He came in ninth place.  He said there were only nine of them running, but it doesn't matter, ninth sure sounds better than 73rd.
    This year I have made it to my daughter's home swim meets - a sport I am more familiar with as three of my four sisters were on swim teams when we were growing up.   I know the swimmers cannot really hear us yelling while they are racing (except possibly those swimming breast stroke, as their heads bob up), but last week I screamed myself hoarse encouraging the girls to pull, kick and get your arms up! It is gratifying to see my daughter comfortably in a group of peers, advancing in her sport (second place in butterfly two weeks ago!!!) and really enjoying herself.
    Was I a huge sports advocate BC (before children)? No.  Am I now for  a wide variety of reasons - oh yes.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The gardens are ready to nap, the bees are bedding down

   Ran around like a crazy woman last night snatching the last beans, a couple squash and a few tomatillos and cucumbers from the gardens before the freezing temps set in.  It was supposed to go down to 28 last night - and while I did not check it, I believe it may have made it that low.  I threw sheets over all the flowers, a few remaining herbs and pepper plants with a few more fruits on them, and I covered a couple of the garden bound cotton plants.  Three other cotton plants - the ones in pots - came in and are now finishing their life cycle in the dining room and living room.  Again, I see why we have no great cotton plantations in NY!!
    I fed the bees yesterday, their only supplemental feeding this fall, as they have hive bodies full of honey. This morning we put in the entrance reducers, drilled a hole in the upper deep of the blue hive and decided to wait until next weekend to wrap them in tar paper which will help keep them cozy and draft free in the winter months. So far, both the flower and the blue hives look strong.  Have treated both with one round of ApiGuard, since I saw some varroa mites on the drones earlier in the season. After wrapping the hives, it is up to Mother Nature and the girls themselves to decide if they will make it through the winter.
    Last night I treated myself to a wonderful old movie.  Once the wee lad was in bed and the older two settled, Drew and I put the pellet stove on and watched Blue Skies.  It is a sweet musical with Fred Astaire dancing and Bing Crosby singing. It has Irving Berlin songs and Billy De Wolfe as the comic relief and  it is a joy. I felt like I was visiting old friends. This was one of my favorite movies while I was growing up.  Fred Astaire was truly incredible in this film; perfection in tap shoes! A lovely way to spend a chilly autumn night.