Friday, November 14, 2008

Whoa! What happened there? Last time I looked, it was the beginning of October and I was preparing for a trip to Vancouver. Then I woke up this morning and it's mid-November. How the hell did that happen?

Well, I suppose that if I think about it, I can account for some of it....
I finished up the selection process for the workshops for Fibre Week 2009 before we left for holidays. Let me tell you, this is a tough job! There were so many fabulous proposals and so few spaces, it gave me a sleepless night or two. I think the line-up is very interesting--watch the Fibre Week website for information as it becomes available.
Then it was off to Vancouver for 10 days. Long story short: Fabulous trip! We did the touristy things, like visit the Vancouver Aquarium and Stanley Park, as well as just relaxing with Lexi. We attended her graduation from Blanche MacDonald and celebrated with a fabulous seafood and sparkling wine dinner. The weather driving through the mountains was brilliant, and we had a very scenic drive. And, of course, there was much car knitting done... a scarf for Brendan. Two skeins of Arequipa held together throughout, and following The Yarn Harlot's one-row scarf pattern. Mindless enough for in the car, but pretty cool results!
And a pair of flip-top mittens for my Mom. The yarn for these is a handspun semi-woolen Merino/Suri alpaca/silk worsted weight that I spun from combing waste left after blending the same fibres on the hackles. The Merino and Suri were white tops, and the silk was a handpainted sliver, so there was a subtle pastel stripe throughout the yarn....

...and the mitts are super soft and smooth. Mmmmmm....
The pattern is one that I have memorized and knit so many times that I can't even remember the source--possibly an old Paton's booklet from the '80's. Pretty much my "standard" mitten.

I also worked on a top-down sweater in Mirasol Miski (baby llama), but it is currently on hold because I changed my mind part way through and needed to order some more yarn to finish it. I finally tracked down the right color this week, so I should get that one back on the needles next week and blog the whole sordid tale when it's done.

There was also a really swell pair of skeleton socks that didn't get photographed before they were given as a birthday gift. Lisa has promised me pics, so more on those later, too.

We got home from those adventures the week before Halloween, so we just rolled straight into party preparations. We always do a big haunt and party, but time and knee constraints made us trim things a bit this time around. We still managed to have our haunted house set up by Wednesday, and the weather was spectacular! We had far fewer kids than we have ever had, but it was a nice evening, with time to chat with neighbors and a relaxed move into our party. Much lower key than in a lot of past years, but just right for a road-weary household still trying to get our feet under us.

You will note that the creepy lady on the right is wearing a handspun and handknit shawl, made from last year's Halloween-inspired yarn.
This is what it looks like in the daylight. A very simple triangle shawl...
with a spooky skull-beaded fringe to add a Halloweeny touch! Very cozy and it made the evening of lurking outside quite enjoyable, not to mention stylish!
The next evening was the Keyano College Foundation's Gala, and Steve surprised my with tickets. Aside from the fact that this led to a wardrobe crisis and an emergency shopping trip, it was a fantastic evening! Plenty of good food, free champagne, hob-nobbing, all topped by a live performance by Randy Bachman. It's pretty fun to sip champagne and eat duck breast while grooving to vintage Guess Who in an evening gown! Definitely not something I do every weekend!
Once I came back down to earth, and got the house cleaned up from the Halloween bash, I had spinning to finish up....
...including a little side trip into insanity! This is a merino multi-colored top single, spun soft and slubby and then coiled around a cotton core. Not my usual smooth, skinny yarn at all, but much fun to make. The only problem is, I have no idea what to do with it now. I guess I'll just look at it and admire how cool it is for now!
So now I'm making "practical" yarns--sock yarn on the Schacht, lace-weight bison on the Kromski and a worsted Merino/cashmere blend on the Ashford. The Christmas knitting has begun, and will soon probably consume the better part of my days. The weather has finally turned wintery up here, with plenty of snow and ice, so I have had a wonderful excuse to lay low and spin and knit all day, then make a pot of soup for supper.
There is a lot of spinning in my future, as potential teaching jobs are beginning to pile up for next summer. Samples to be made, and ideas that have been floating through my brain to be actualized. There's never enough time! If some one can tell me where it all goes, I'd really appreciate it--I need to go and get a bit of the past month back!

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