Dec 28, 2008

Parties R (not) Us

Well, Christmas came and went in the blink of an eye. You know, we don't really celebrate here like I know how to celebrate Christmas. We have a tiny little tree, that's about a foot and a half tall, that I put on the coffee table. And the wreath on the inside of the door. And aside from that, nothing much else happens in this apartment. We have a little breakfast of panatone and tea or cocoa and then we spend the day preparing for the really big day, the 26th, which is O's birthday.

Last year, O's birthday party was my first try at a party in our home. It was also my last try. I hated it. People came with piles of uninvited guests (oh, my wife's whole family is in town so I brought them along, you don't mind, do you?), strangers took the opportunity to crash the party, nearly all of them got roaring drunk and broke everything they touched, and well...the bathroom ended up smelling like the very worst pig pen you've ever had the misfortune of passing by. And when the food ran out, they took over the kitchen and rifled through the cupboards to eat whatever wasn't made of glass or plastic...cardboard appeared to be fine, though. They all sang and drank and played the music as loud as possible until about 6 am, when they finally puked on the floor and the sofa and shuffled out the door. Those who had passed out finally came to and crawled away. I guess I can understand that people want to relax after a long work week, but cripes, they're like a bunch of 40-year-old teenagers who never got over being fascinated with the idea of getting wasted.

I view it as a basic lack of respect for the home owner and themselves. I have learned my lesson and made it clear that we aren't doing that anymore. This is my home, not a place that's available to for anyone to tear up nor is it a flop house for the seriously stupified. When people drop to talk to O, I offer the obligatory cookies and tea or soda, but what they really want is an afternoon of beer after beer after beer, so the visit is never a long one.

Anyway, this year, we decided to celebrate his birthday at the Chinese restaurant down the street. We got a couple of big long tables and enough Chinese food for 25 people and four 2-liter bottles of wine to split between us all and that was it. If they wanted to get drunk (and of course they did), the guests had to buy their own alcohol. But there was no sofa to fall on, no control over the music, and if someone broke the dishes, they had to pay for them. So the party went very smoothly. We had no stress over anything getting trashed and the whole event started at 2 pm, ended at 10:30 pm, and we went home to a quiet apartment and played with Celeste.

I'm sure it wasn't the biggest splash for the guests - they only got a good meal and a glass or two of wine with dinner, all the 7-Up they could drink, and music to dance to, but not loud enough to blow the eardrums out - since it ended so early by Peruvian party standards (someone asked if this was how birthday parties are in the US), but I consider it a major success for me. The two of us had a great time and still were able to enjoy the next day.

Dec 24, 2008

Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everybody! I wish I could have a white Christmas, but it's not to be this year. I have high hopes or next year. Or at least a white 4th of July. Anyway, what would Christmas be without a little song and Christmas cheer from Santa and the reindeer? I grin every time I watch this:



Have a great Christmas, however you choose to spend it, and here's my very best wishes to you for a wonderful New Year!

Love to all of you from Kathleen, O, and Celeste

Dec 21, 2008

An Update

I'm still spinning the teal Romney laceweight. I'm halfway through the 14 little batts, and have over 400 yards of yarn! I had no idea I would get that much! I've spun around 3 1/4 ounces so far. If I can stay consistent, I should end up with just about 800 yards of the yarn. That's plenty for a scarf!
And, we're halfway through finals for this cycle. I've got two more classes worth of written exams to finish grading tonight, and tomorrow the students do their autonomous learning projects and then Tuesday we have oral evaluations. My work is mostly done, and now it's the students' turn to show off what they've learned.

Starting December 24th, I've got 12 whole days off! I plan to do a major amount of spinning and knitting during that time, and some spring cleaning around the apartment. Our Siberian blizzard has nearly come to a close and it's time to clear out the last of the fuzz from the corners and behind the fridge.

I've decided to join a spin-a-long for the winter solstice, which apparently begins...ummm...today, I think. I have picked out a nice set of batts to spin up while I'm off work and of course, I'll finish the teal romney. Then I'll drift back to the fiber that Maggie sent me and spin on that for a while, too. I have almost an entire drop spindle of DK singles spun and need another spindle-full to ply it with. And a lot more to spin on still! With that, I still plan to knit a stole, but I'm still taking my time looking for just the right pattern for this special yarn.

But uuuufff...while teaching this month, I got hit in the head with a cold bug, and I'm in the midst of a head cold and a headache. It's a little hard to get in the mood for Christmas right now. I'm having a bit of a time dealing with working in the inner city, too. It's a good thing I'll have time away from there starting next week. I did put my wreath on the door, but on the inside, because things have a habit of walking away around here. I don't want my wreath to sprout legs and run off.

It might seem like I'm a little bit down, but really, I ask you:
Who could be down with a face like this looking up at you?

Dec 19, 2008

There 8 Things Meme

I thought this was a good one, so I'm doing it:

My 8 favorite foods:
1. Chocolate
2. Grapefruit
3. Mangoes
4. Hot chili soup
5. Cinnamon rolls
6. Sharp cheddar cheese
7. Gourmet veggie pizza with creamy garlic sauce
8. Salads

8 Things I Did Today:
1. Checked email and new blog posts
2. Went to work
3. Taught English to my morning Basic 12 class
4. Took Celeste out for her 6 am walk and potty break
5. Took Celeste out for her 30 minutes of running, walking, playing at midday
6. Went back to teach my afternoon classes
7. Spun on the teal laceweight
8. Came home from work at 11 pm and crashed.

8 Favorite Stores:
1. Wal-Mart (I wish this was in Peru)
2. Christopher & Banks (this one, too!)
3. Metro Supermarket
4. Amazon.com
5. Etsy.com
6. Ripley's Department Store
7. Saga Falabella (department store)
8. Ewe Count (my LYS in Cheyenne)

8 Favorite Restaurants:
1. Papa John's Pizza 3 blocks from my apartment and the menu is in English
2. The Texas Roadhouse, Cheyenne, WY
3. San Dong Chinese Restaurant, Cheyenne, WY
4. Sanford's Grub and Pub, Cheyenne, Wy
5. El Rinconcito Ferrañafano, Lima - Peru
6. Puro Tumbes, Lima - Peru
7. Olive Garden
8. The Armadillo (LaSalle, Colorado)

8 Things I Look Forward To:
1. Sundays
2. Spinning on my current project
3. Knitting a sweater with my own handspun
4. Having lunch with a friend
5. Craft shows in Colorado with my sister
6. Laughing with my sister
7. Having a good long walk with Celeste
8. A cold glass of water after a long hot day

8 Things I Like To Do With Family:
1. Worship
2. Play board games
3. Camping
4. Music (play, sing, listen)
5. Go to the beach
6. Play in the snow
7. Sit quietly and read
8. Walks and bike rides

8 Things on My Wish List:
1. A visa for O so we can go home
2. Two fiber animals
3. Time to knit more
4. Time for riding, spinning and reading
5. A place to get out of town and breathe
6. Another dog like Sunny
7. A good job in the US
8. A feeling of belonging

Dec 14, 2008

A snow fix in high summer

We have no snow here. It's summertime, and it seems so strange to have Christmas in 80 degree weather. So here's my little snow fix for December:



I found this on Youtube, and the title is "Bailey, The Unknown Reindeer." I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Whoever is Bailey's owner, I thank you for sharing your dog and your snow with us!

First snow of the summer and other nonsense

Yup, it's summertime here in the southern hemisphere. Finally. Celeste is in the final throws of divesting herself of her winter coat, and so we're also in the final weeks (yes, I said weeks) of the semi-annual Siberian blizzard. We have Celeste fuzz everywhere, in spite of vacuuming and sweeping up daily and daily brushing with a shedding brush. It's tapering off now, the fuzzy undercoat is off her neck, shoulders, and back, but we still have a good portion of dog-butt fuzz to endure. The brush doesn't do much for the guard hair coat, which is STILL coming off, so I simply pull it out by the handfull when we go for our walks. Her new lighter summertime jacket is slick, clean and soft - just right for a blue-eyed girl in summer. Not a floral print dress, but just as pretty.

It took my mother-in-law almost 5 years to speak to me. For a while, she simply refrained from acknowledging that I existed, then later she would nod to me on occasion. Once, when we invited O's parents to travel with us to Cusco (I paid all the expenses), she told someone that I was a "friend" that was traveling along with them. I have never been invited to her home, and have never been acknowledged as part of anything...

...until last weekend, when O picked me up from work and she was in the back seat of our car with two other of O's friends. What a surprise! As I opened my mouth to say hello to her, she suddenly grabbed me and hugged me and fairly screamed, "Hola mi hijita!" (hello my little daughter!). I was so caught off guard that I couldn't reply for a few seconds. That was the last thing she said to me for the rest of the day, and I have the feeling that it was more for the benefit of O and his friends than anything else.

O's father is here in Lima. He is an elderly man that is reaping the results of his misspent youth. He's a 75-year-old diabetic. Many Peruvians have diabetes. I think they have a genetic tendency for it, but I also think that diet and lifestyle figure prominently, too. The diet here consists of very few veggies, fish, meat, rice and rice and rice, with bread and pasta and sodas and prodigious amounts of beer and other alcoholic beverages. A meal isn't a meal around here with out rice, even if potatoes and pasta are served. And there is always beer. I have been told by several that real communication cannot occur with out drinking beer, because then the people are relaxed and they can speak without holding back. So, at every meeting, every working lunch, every family get-together, every child's birthday party, first communion, or walk in the park, there is beer. And when the beer flows, it doesn't stop until sometime the next morning. With a diet like that, it's not hard to see how one could become a diabetic. Or an alcoholic. Which is what O's father is: a diabetic alcoholic that goes out of control from time to time when the alcohol cravings become too strong or when he simply gets bored.

I have a lot more to say about this, having lived with an alcoholic before, but it's more rant than anything else, so I'll stop talking about it while I am still off the soapbox.

I'm still spinning the teal laceweight...and probably will be for a few weeks more. Only 7 more little batts to go! I'm averaging about 100 yards of two ply every week, so I should be ready to knit the shawl in another 3 or 4 weeks. There IS light at the end of the tunnel! I'm getting my beads sorted in anticipation!

Dec 6, 2008

Good Reads

In the last two weeks, I've been reading on the bus, to and from work. Last week, I read "Deception Point", by Dan Brown. Excellent read. I loved it. I'm a Dan Brown fan. I've read three of his books: The daVinci Code, Angels and Demons, and now, Deception Point. Gosh, I hope he comes out with a new one soon that's just as good.


This week, I read Anita Diamant's "The Red Tent". I remember when it first in 1997, and there was a huge hubbub about it. I steered away from it because of all the fuss that was made. Now I've finally read it, and in a way, I'm sorry that I didn't read it sooner. In another way, I'm glad I waited. I'm in a better way to appreciate it than I would have been in 1997. My life was way different then than it is now.

Over the past several months, I've considered donating some books to the library at the institute where I work. I have limited space in my little apartment, and I have read nearly all of the books that I brought from home or bought from Amazon.com (there are about 60 of them now). I'm just about ready for some new books to read and really need the space, so some of the books really should go and I'm sure that the library would be happy to take them...

...but my books are like close friends of mine. Even though I may not read them for another few years, I love them. They comfort me. They speak to me. They take me places when I need to escape from the everyday crap that life in the concrete jungle presents. So I haven't been able to bring myself to donate any of them to the library yet.

Dec 5, 2008

A few pics

Well, I've had a long, dry, uninspired spell. Actually, I'm still spinning on the teal Romney fiber, and am working on the 3rd 100 yard skein of lace weight. I like it, and it's not boring, but it's taking a loooong time, especially since I'm working 6 days a week and some odd hours.

It's coming up on Christmas, and I have some traditional Peruvian Christmas ornaments and a little nativity scene. Last year, I showed you my nativity scene, so this year, I'll show you my little New Year's house:




I'm not totally up on the significance of the house and all it's details, but it seems to be a very popular thing for Christmas.

I also have my Madonna and Child, in a traditional ceramic form:


Again, I'm not up on the significance of the form (maybe the Black Madonna?), but I liked her, so I brought her home.

Coming this weekend - more Romney spinning, hopefully some photos from the local artisan market, and some finished projects.

Nov 23, 2008

The Painted Pigs

Well, okay piggy banks...




10 Random Things

A meme stolen from The Knotty Mouse. Participate if you feel moved to. I'd love to read about your random-ness!

1. Magazines subscribed to - none. I'd love to get Interweave Knits and Interweave Crochet, but the cost is enormous and I only get 3 of the 4 issues in a year. Someone along the way in the international postal system must also enjoy them.

2. Aside from knitting, my favorite pasttimes are - spinning, watching movies, reading, walking with the dog, hiking in the mountains (although I don't get to do that anymore)..

3. If I were not a teacher (insert your own profession), I would be - goatherd or a shepherd. I'm very interested in learning more about sheep and I love goats!

4. I am irrationally worried about - the economy and getting my husband to immigrate.

5. If I were the opposite sex - I'd probably have a sex change.

6. The thing I miss most about childhood is - playtime. I want more time to play!

7. I like to collect - ceramics and pottery, although I don't have much of that. Somehow it always gets broken or given to someone else or lost...

8. Though I’ve never been there, I feel inexplicably homesick for - nowhere. I want to go somewhere that I've been.

9. I’ve never really liked to eat - Fish. They smell bad and they taste bad, too. I feel the same way about lamb and mutton. They taste just like they smell. Bleh. So while I am mezmorized by fish in an aquarium and I love spending time with sheep and goats, I have no desire whatsoever to eat them. I love my dog, too, but she doesn't smell good enough to eat, either.

10. When I have nightmares, they’re usually about - running and running from something or someone, although I never really am sure who or what it is. Then the windows rattle even though there's no wind, and I wake up.

Nov 22, 2008

What's the Haps?

WOOOT!!! Look what came in the mail the other day:



This is the only Nicky Epstein book that I have, and it's a beauty! I didn't realize that it was a hardback until it arived and, at first, I thought "Great - a coffee table book," with some disappointment. But after cracking the cover open, I realized that I was wrong.

Wow. The patterns are great. The pictures are great. The inspiration is non-stop. It's true that there are patterns in this book that I'll probably never make, at least in the form that they are presented, but what great ideas!

And I have been spinning some lace weight singles.



I plan to use them in a shawl. Originally I was spinning for the Mystery Stole #4, but decided against it. I'm not up to spinning 1100 yards of laceweight all in the same year, but I do think I can pull off 600 yards. I've done about 100 yards so far in this teal romney and silk, with another spindle filled with about 150 yards. I've started on the second spindle today, but only have about 25 yards on it so far.

So the shawl that I'm spinning for now is the Garden of Alla shawl. I haven't decided if I will edge it in a contrasting color or not, but I've got 12 more batts worth of time to think about it before I have to make a decision. I don't really like the edging on the shawl shown in the pattern.

I'm thinking about beading it with clear crystal beads, too. They're supposed to look like raindrops on the yarn.

I'm still spinning on the Bundaflicka tweed that I was going to use for the Mystery Stole, but I'm re-thinking the project for it.

Nov 19, 2008

Gorgeous to Goofy in Less Than 60 Seconds

I think...

...therefore I am...


...silly!

Nov 16, 2008

Lunch


Hi! I'm so glad you came through the market. Most of it is closed today, but there's a lot of fruit for sale there, under the umbrella. Have you had lunch? This is the same market where Pondside and I had lunch when she visited.

This afternoon for lunch, O and I are eating at El Rinconcito Ferrañafano. They specialize in typical foods from northern Peru, like you might find around Chiclayo and Ferrañafe and some live music, loudly and enthusiatically played, even though it's out of tune most of the time.

Come on inside the restaurant and have a seat:

Ahh, lunch is served:
I had the Pepián de Pato (Duck with pumpkin seed sauce) and rice. The usual bowl of ají is there with the red and green Limeño chili peppers.

O had Cau Cau...I can't handle this. Although the flavor is good, the cow's stomach fights with my stomach and the cow's gut is just a little bit stronger than mine. We part ways quickly, so I passed on this dish, even though it comes with a wonderful plate of rice and beans...if you have a stronger stomach than I do, I recommend this dish. But, if not, go for the pepián...it's much easier on the stomach, even though the duck is a tough old bird.
The Rinconcito Trio:

Meditative Sunday


(We have the camera again.)




Nov 15, 2008

Makes My Heart Tinkle...



I stumbled across this while net-surfing, and my daughter sent me a few more...








There are more, but I'll save them for another camera-less time.

Nov 8, 2008

A follow-up

Following up on the bullfighting post:


My curiousity led me a little farther down the bullfighting path, to youtube.com, where I did a search for bullfighting videos. Graphic to say the least. Since the billboard across the street names the featured matadores, I looked for Simpson, El Fandi, and Manzanares. Found them all. I think they are from Spain and that Peru is simply on their circuit when the bullfighting season opens up, similar to a rodeo circuit. After watching a youtube video of the ending of the bullfight, I know I would not be interested in attending. No links to the videos I watched are included here, because they turned my stomach. No need to share that. If you are interested, you can do the search on youtube.com and find all manner of bullfighting scenes.

I think I'll go back to Ferdinand.

Not completely photo-less

Well, the camera came and went again, before I managed to get photos off the memory card. The card is here, sitting on the desk, but the camera has been loaned out once again. Methinks it's time to start camera shopping. Luckily, I have a few previously unpublished photos that I can trot out now.

Here's a little shot of Celeste, getting ready for school:


And a couple of shots from the park near my apartment building:



And an improvement, to keep the pigeons and rain out of our second floor hallway - a window, inspected and approved by our building engineer, Ms. Celeste:

No more pidgeons getting the first bite out of someone's breakfast bread!

Nov 2, 2008

bull fighting


Bull fighting season opened yesterday in Acho. There is a large billboard acros the street from where I live, advertising the opening.

It is a sport that causes a lot of controversy here in Peru, with its supporters and its detractors in conflict. Every Sunday, the billboard is de-faced and every Tuesday it is replaced with a brand new one. Both parties are determined. Still, when I think of bullfighting, what always comes to mind is Ferdinand the Bull. Here is a little more about Ferdinand and bullfighting in general.

"One of the most important bullfighting festivals in Latin America, the Feria Taurina del Señor de los Milagros takes place in Lima throughout the month of November.

The most famous matadores and bull ranches in the world compete for fame and glory in the Acho Plaza de Toros, a bullfighting arena erected in 1766 and rebuilt in 1945. People flock from all over the world to witness the bravado and grace of the bullfighters dancing against the bulls in the sand-covered arena. If you're interested in these things, it's the bullfighting experience of a lifetime. On the other hand, if you find the practice of bullfighting unpleasant, we suggest you steer well clear."



"There are two prizes awarded for the event, the Escapulario de Oro for the bravest and most skilful matador and the Escapulario de Plata for the best-presented and most impressive bull. It's doubtful whether the bulls get any prizes for disposing elegantly of the bullfighters.

Bullfighting is inextricably linked to the history and national identity of Peru. Since bulls were introduced shortly after the Spaniards first arrived, the spectacle of bull running has been a rallying point for young and old, rich and poor throughout the country. Shows used to be set up to celebrate visiting dignitaries from Spain, for royal birthdays, military victors and religious holidays."
(http://www.whatsonwhen.com)

Sometimes the bull gets the edge...


We have no plans to go. Looking at the billboard on the street, I thought the matador's hat was crocheted, which was the original impetus for writing this post. But as I researched during the writing, I discovered that it was not. but I did find out a lot about bull fighting in the process.

Nov 1, 2008

Right...




Your Autumn Test Results



You are a dynamic, vibrant person. You aren't afraid to pursue your passions.



When you're happiest, you are outgoing and expressive . You love celebrations, and you enjoy showing off a little.



You prefer change to come slowly. You need a long transition period when your life changes.



You find abundance to be the most comforting thing in the world. You love shopping and having nice things.



Your ideal day is spontaneous and surprising. You like to play things by ear, and you always end up doing something interesting.



You tend to live in the moment. You enjoy whatever is going on, and you don't obsess over the past or future.

Oct 28, 2008

I love your blog!


Susan, over at KitKatKnits, gave me this award! WooHoo! I'm tickled to pieces to receive this award. It makes my day!

So thrilled am I that I am passing this along to some other lucky bloggers:

Needles of Iron. This dedicated blogger has pledged to blog every day through Blogtoberfest, and what a great job she's done! November is nearly here and she'll be able to give her fingers a rest from typing!

Sheep At The Beach. Kary donates a percentage of her Etsy earnings to various dog rescues each year. Wow! And she also creates the gorgeous "Kitchen Sink Battz", that spin "like buttah".

Rani Knits. Randi illustrates her life and knitting with gorgeous pictures and the best sense of humor! Check her out and give Leo lots of kisses (even when he's chewing on her yarn).

Spindles and Spices. The Wild Tomato shares her recipes and embarrasses her dog, Mingus, in the best way - with good humor and a sense of fun that will keep you coming back...for cat hat patterns and excellent photos!

Boulderneigh Shetland Sheep. I have learned so much about Shetland sheep since I discovered this blog, and in the best way - the fun way! Michelle introduces her polled sheep with great photos and shares farm life with humor and caring. Don't miss this blog!

Maggie's Farm. Maggie writes what she feels and what she lives there on the farm in New York. She shares her life with LOTS and LOTS of sheep and goats, and her husband, Matt. Not one to hold back, Maggie tells it in a straightforward but sensitive manner, and is a great fiber friend!

Here are the rules for the award recipients if you want to play along (not required):

1. Please mention of the award on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. You must nominate at least 4 fellow bloggers for this award.
4. Add links to the recipients.
5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award.

Besides all this, I have been plying She Sells Sea Shells, which is soaking in the bath right now. So far, about 3.5 oz has given me 125 yards of worsted weight yarn. I'm planning a beret and fingerless mitts, if I get enough yardage. After that, I plan to take on a set of the famous "Kitchen Sink Battz" from Kary. Romney in a gorgeous pale teal with tussah silk accents. I'm aiming for double knit weight with this one.

Oct 27, 2008

Socks Socks Socks

Yeah! My second ever sock book has arrived!

I think the last sock book I may look for is Folk Socks. I don't think I need tons of sock books. I'm terrible at following patterns. I use them for inspiration, but always have my own modifications that I do to them, so I think this will do me for now.

Folk Socks is so tempting, though...

Oct 20, 2008

Not as odd as last time, but...

I should carry my camera with me all the time. On Saturday, a man got on the bus to "work". First, he withdrew a tablespoon from his shirt pocket and inserted the handle into his nose, although not very far. He apologised for not having a second one to insert into the other side to make a balanced appearance. This was not too impressive for the bus passengers, after all, we'd already seen something similar one time before. It must have been obvious to this man, because he announced that he would begin the difficult task of singing with a spoon up his nose. Which he did. The money collection for this man was scant...I can't help but think if he'd just had the second spoon...

Following this a blind man got on the bus and quietly asked for money. Change purses opened up and this one got off the bus about $10 richer.

At the next corner, two women got on. One had a guitar and the other had a pair of spoons, not to push up her nose, fortunately. They did sing a rousing medley of Huayno classics. The crowd went wild and sang along and applauded, and then coughed up additional pocket change for these two.

Below is an example of typical Huayno dance and music:



On Sunday, Celeste and I went walking about 7 am. We passed from the middle class neighborhood of Jesus Maria into the more affluent San Isidro. In front of a posh apartment building, we saw 4 young men, impeccably dressed and obviously completely soused. I noticed two neighborhood security guards (Serenazgo) watching them quietly. They were hailing taxis. Each time a taxi drew near, they would turn their backs to the taxi and drop their finely sewn drawers around their ankles, giving the taxi driver a close-up view of four rich bums. Inevitably the driver would shift gears and continue on, while the 4 drunks cursed and laughed. Finally, after the third episode of this, the Serenazgos waited till the pants were around the ankles again and then moved in. They snagged these four fools and flung them into the back of their pick-up trunk, none too gently. After I went home, I told O about what I'd seen, and asked if the drunks would be taken to jail or what. He said they would most likely be driven home by the Serenazgos if they were able to identify themselves and give an address. If not, they would probably spend their morning riding around, hand-cuffed in the back of the truck with their pants around their ankles, till they sobered up enough to say where they lived.

Other than that, here's what I've been doing:


This is a sock that I've been making for my daughter. So far, there's only one. It's made of superwash merino in the colorway "Squidge" that I got from Black Ethel Cash. I like the look of it and I think that my girl will too. For Christmas!

And more spinning:


This is Bundaflicka Tweed in "Earth".

And finally, the avocado tree outgrew her spot in the apartment and needed a break from the Celeste love, so here is Annie Avocado with her best friend, Celeste, in the hall, where Annie now lives:

Oct 16, 2008

Yeay! It's here!



My first book about hand spinning has arrived! It tok an incredibly long time to come through the mail, but at last,I have a reference for spinning. Several people have told me that this is a coffee table book with great pictures but no real written content of value. Well, I haven't read the whole thing, but I do like the first portion, where the author gives illustrated instructions on various techniques and explains terms. She explains basics of fiber prep, gives explanations through the spinning process and plying methods. The rest of the book is devoted to "homework", project to try with a particular yarn style to achieve. Personally, I like this book. Yes, it has lots of photos of different fibers and examples of finished yarns that are the objects of the project lessons, and it gives me the feel of being free to experiment, and if my yarn turns out different than the picture of the target yarn, then it's no big deal. I like that.

Oct 14, 2008

Work stuff and a Celeste pic

Every month for a year, new teachers at the ICPNA are taped while teaching a class. We can choose which session we want to be recorded teaching, but afterwards, we have to write a critique, in which we identify the strengths and weaknesses of our own teaching techniques. It is for our use only, so no one watches us during this time. At first, I thought I might want to post part of my recorded sessions here on the blog, but luckily I haven't figured out how to do so. I say "luckily" because every month I am increasingly more critical of myself. It's a very humbling thing to see myself in the midst of a session that doesn't go as expected.

Every month, we are also evaluated by some member of the staff, each month a different person, so we never know exactly what to expect. It's a little bit of a stressor for me until the evaluation is over. After the eval, we have a feed back session, which is good for me. Because I'm very critical of myself, I always think of something that I could have done better, and these feedbacks give me ideas about how. While I don't enjoy being evaluated every single month (personally, I think that monthly evaluations are overkill), they do have value.

And, because it's October and Halloween is approaching, Celeste has been wearing her devil dog look: