Sep 27, 2008

New Projects on the spindle

I've begun spinning She Sells Sea Shells. The target projects are socks and "Le Slouch", a beret by Wendy Bernard. I'm looking forward to these projects. They should be quick and relaxing, once the yarn is spun up. I hope to have enough yarn to complete both projects.

"She Sells Sea Shells" is a colorway from Enchanted Knoll Farm. According to Josette, proprietress of Enchanted Knoll Farm, it's a "blend of rose/shell pink, light gold undulating to dark brown and cream mixture of a decidedly feminine but very earthy color array. When spun, the colors mingle, lighten, deepen, and blend into varying shades of themselves, which reminds me of the rainbow of colors inside a sea shell. There's some dark corriedale/merino as well as a healthy dollup of rose targhee and some gorgeous tussah silk."

I know virtually nothing about sheep and their wool. What I do know is that the blend of the different wools makes a fun and interesting spinning experience for me. I've spent most of my spinning this year with superwash merino, blue-faced leichester, and Romney blends, but all in their separate batts. The combination in these "Sea Shells" batts is everything wrapped into one batt, but not so totally blended that everything fades into everything else. If you are spinner and you enjoy interesting and beautiful colorways and fiber blends, think about this one.

I'll post pictures as I progress through the spinning.

Hair styles among the masses

I love going to work. It gives me an opportunity to observe people. This month, I had to observe a Basic 1 class - the class for adults who are just beginning to learn English. Most of them were teenagers and they take their fashion statements more seriously than their studies.

One young man came to class every day with his longish black hair carefully blow-dried forward to cover his eyes. I'm not sure exactly how he managed to read or navigate through the hallways, because I could never see anything of his face above the upper lip. He was a tall, very thin person who seemed to be wearing his big brother's pants. His nails were quite long and he always wore black. To complete his look, he topped his black outfits with a hooded black sweatshirt, always worn with the hood up, even in class.

A very popular hair style among the young men is a pseudo mohawk. The sides are not shaved, but the long hair on the top of the head is pasted up into a tall ridge with a lot of stiff hair goop. When I see this style, I immediately think "pin-head", but have yet to meet a real pinhead. Most are very nice, only experimenting with styles.

Still another young man wore his hair carefully "tousled" in kind of a swirl around his head. The hair rebelled and escaped the swirl in places, sticking out straight and sometimes hitting the person sitting next to him as he turned his head.

One of my own tall, thin students arrived with his shaggy ringlets pushed up into a curly mushroom on the top of his head, using a girl's plastic circular headband like my daughter used to use when she was a teenager. The curly mushroom settled between two heavier, shorter pinheads.

I thought the girls were fashionistas, but it's really the guys who are into their "look", especially when it comes to hair.

Sep 26, 2008

24 Tips For a Better Life

I saw this while surfing other blogs and liked it, so I posted it here:


1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement,
'My purpose is to__________ today.'

4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a
college kid with a maxed out charge card.

9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

12. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

14. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

17. Forgive everyone for everything.

18. What other people think of you is none of your business.

19. God heals almost everything.

20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends
will. Stay in touch.

22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I
am thankful for__________. Today I accomplished _________.

24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

Sep 23, 2008

Gads, I'm tired

I don't know who this little guy is, but I've felt almost the same recently!

Sep 16, 2008

Tales From the Fiber Stash and a Little Hand Spinning

More spinning fluff and stuff, people...that means I have to work for my required daily allowance of being a lap dog. I've found a spot on the bed and settled in for a long afternoon...there's more fuzz in baggies than I have on my whole body!

Bundlaflicka Tweed in purple.

Something Red, from Carolina Homespun (a gift from the Wild Tomato!), on a Zebisis Designs spindle.

Old Country Roses, from Butterfly Girl Designs.

She Sells Sea Shells, from Enchanted Knoll Farm

Romney Blend "Hold You in My Dreams", from The Knotty Sheep

Sep 15, 2008

Socks and news from Wooly Works!

Take a look at what's new over at the Wooly Works! They've got new babies! They've also got alpaca fleeces of all colors and mohair fleeces in white, rose gray, and black, and do custom processing and blends, so get yerself over there and ask about your favorite alpaca fiber!

These are my Odyssey Rock Ranch socks, done in the knit-a-long. Aren't they pretty? everything is 100% alpaca, except for the heels, toes, and cuff decorations. Soooo comfy and soft! You need this yarn! Get it here!

This is "The Ranch Sock", modified a little from the Odyssey Rock Ranch pattern. This sock is done in handpainted alpaca from Odyssey Rock Ranch, but with toes, heels, and cuff decorations done in my handspun with BFL fiber from Maggie's Farm, Inc. I only have one finished, with the second one on the needles.

Sep 14, 2008

Book on the way

Yesterday I got notice that my first ever spinning book has been shipped. Yeay! I've been spinning and spinning, but I'm mostly self-taught. Now maybe I'll get a few pointers and instructions on new techniques to try. I've read the reviews on this book, both pro and con, and if nothing else, nearly all say that this book is great for inspiration. Some say there is great instruction and info in the front of the book; others say that it's a coffee table book with great pictures. Whatever it is, I'll be sure to get something out of it. I'm a visual learner and love lots of pictures.

Sep 6, 2008

Noches Criollas

Tonight we went to La Noche Criolla at the club just down the street from us. There was la musica criolla, which is a musical result mixture of Spanish, Quechua, and African influences. You hear it on the Peruvian coast most often. It's beautiful, emotional, moving music. It makes you want to dance, even if you're not a dancer. Eva Ayllon is a very popular Peruvian singer and musician, who specializes in la musica criolla.

We also saw an example of the fabulously romantic Marinera dance, in the style from Piura. Piura is a Peruvian city on the west coast, up near the Ecuadorian border. The Marinera is a beautiful dance, no matter where it is done, but there are various styles. The Marinera trademark is the handkerchief, twirling and flying through the air, clasped between two fingers of the dancing couple. No matter where the influence is from, typically the Marinera is danced with La Dama and El Caballero (the lady and the gentleman). La Dama is usually barefoot, with long and lacy flowing skirts. El Caballero usually wears a broad-brimmed sombrero, white clothing with a colorful cumberbund, portrayed as a horseman. In fact, in Trujillo, the caballero is often dancing while horseback. The Peruvian Paso horse is often used in this dance. Hankies flying, partners never touching but never more than a breath away, the Marinera is a seduction set to music. The Piuran Marinera does not use the horse, lucky for us, and was danced to a slow and romantic Spanish ballad. Something not to be missed.

Sep 4, 2008

Knitting English

Yesterday O enrolled in English classes at the institute where I used to teach. These classes are only on Saturdays, so the course advance is pretty aggressive and he'll have to pay attention to keep up.

Now, you might think that after being married to an English speaker for 5 years, that O might speak English pretty well by now, but think again. His ideas were that since I am here and we are together, he could just learn English any time, without any schedule or effort on his part. Maybe it would all just soak in somehow, maybe by osmosis. And that's been true for some of it. But there comes a time when the easy part is over and some effort has to be made. In order to ensure that he makes an effort, he had to PAY. When he got hit in the pocket, then he began to pay attention. His first class is on Saturday. I hope he does as well as he thinks he will. He glanced through the first book and declared it to be too easy. We'll see. At least it might get him talking and practicing. Then we can play SCRABBLE! WOO HOO!

In other news, I finished my Odyssey Rock Ranch socks this week and they are fabulous! If you have never worn alpaca on your feet, you need to. I started a second pair yesterday, and look forward to finishing them up in about 2 weeks, if my schedule stays the same as it is right now. Unfortunately, the camera batteries crapped out (as usual) just as I was taking the picture, so I'll have to wait for new ones.

"The Eclectic Sole" arrived in the mail yesterday, and I'm tickled with all the inspiration! It's my first sock book! None of the socks in this book are long enough in the cuff for me - I don't care much at all for short little anklets - but they all can be modified. Heaven knows I can't just knit a pattern...I have to tweak it somehow, so I'll be tweaking away to make longer cuffs!

Sep 1, 2008

Pink Posy

My New Buddy

See my new little buddy over there on the side bar? His name is Pachacutec, after somebody who was back in Incan history...somebody famous enough to have a street named after him, but I haven't done my homework, so I don't know who he is yet. Anyway, my little Pachecutie loves to have his head rubbed, so just but the cursor on his face and give him a good rub. He'll follow you wherever your cursor goes. Isn't he a good boy? If you click on him, he'll talk to you in that llama "hmmm" voice and you can feed him by clicking on the "m" in the lower right hand corner of his box. Don't be shy! Play with him! He loves the company!

You too can have a little cutie like this or choose a different pet. Just click on the bottom of the box where it says, "adopt your own virtual pet".