February Fiber and Fire

Whoo hoo!  We finally received an offer on the house.  Now we just need to wait and see if our bank will accept said offer so we can close out this chapter of our lives. The relief is palpable and stress levels have fallen significantly. Of course, we couldn’t have great news without a little bad because that’s the nature of the universe.  Beginning in April my DH will be forced to take one day of furlough leave each week.  Long story short, we will be making 1/5 less than last year’s income, but because jets still have to fly, networks still need to operate and the military doesn’t break for weekends, he’ll still have to do the same amount of work.  I somehow doubt that the politicians who make the decisions regarding budgets, etc. are forfeiting 1/5 of their income.  But back to that house offer, it’s good news and we didn’t even have to bury St. Joseph in the front yard.  My theory is that over the years my daughters have dismembered and buried so many Barbie dolls that they must have done Joe’s job for him.  At least we’ll be someplace cheaper when the pay cut goes into effect.

I’ve not had any marathon spinning sessions, but I’ve done a few yards here and there over the past week or so.  I’ve almost filled one bobbin with singles.

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The flash makes it kind of hard to see the individual threads.  I’m working really hard on not over-spinning.  This wheel is so smooth that you barely have to treadle at all to set everything in motion.

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Besides spinning I’ve worked on a few knitted projects over the past month.  First, I made a hat for a family friend.  He shaved his head to show support for his grandson, who is undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

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This skein of DK-weight alpaca kept falling out of my wardrobe when I was looking for tools, etc., so I decided to knit it up.  First I tried making a bolero, but it didn’t look “right”, so it was frogged back into yarn.

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Next I started a top-down pull-over shell, but I wasn’t loving it either.

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Then I remembered that I’d saved a link to Knitty‘s Annis because I wanted to make one, so that was what I did in the end.  The pattern was enjoyable to knit, and I had high hopes for the garment right up until the blocking.  The finished product ended up a bit skinnier and longer than I’d hoped for though. 

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Alpaca seemed to be the go-to fiber because I made a hat out of this natural-colored chunky alpaca yarn.

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I also made a pair of fingerless mitts from som left-over alpaca DK weight yarn. 

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I also finished up A1’s lace beret in alpaca lace-weight.  It hasn’t been blocked yet, hence the wonky edges in the picture.

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A friend and co-worker has asked me to come watch her husband blow glass on several occasions.  Today the planets finally aligned and our schedules allowed us to witness the process.  It was so cool!  There were four people, and my friend working in unison to keep rods turning and furnace doors opening and closing with precision.  Two colors were heated at once and then, in a process that was nothing short of magical, the outer color was attached to the bottom of the inner colored glass and the outside layer was somehow turned inside out and wrapped around the inner layer.  The entire dance was done while the molten glass rotated between hot furnaces and various work areas.  I made some videos, but my new camera’s format doesn’t allow me to load them yet (I hope to figure that all out soon).

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The piece we watched him create today is called a “blank” which he will eventually facet, carve, sand blast and paint, to create an amazing work of art.  Here are two smaller layered blanks that were done previously.  The newly-blown glass has to spend significant amounts of time cooling in the special ovens that these pieces are resting on.

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Here is a link showing what some of the finished art looks like.  He even creates each stand individually in his shop.  I’m always humbled and awed to see such talented people’s work.

http://www.fosterwhite.com/dynamic/artist.asp?ArtistID=93

This afternoon A1 and I went shopping to pick up some necessities for her upcoming journey to Japan.  Purchasing them proved tricky because in the wee hours of the morning someone tried using our debit card on-line to purchase items at Macy’s and at a hotel in Singapore.  Both transactions were cancelled and we were notified, but our debit cards were frozen.  Many stores no longer accept checks and because it was Sunday I couldn’t get cash (without my debit card and an ATM). Even our regular grocery store would only take a check up to a certain amount because I don’t have a history of using them at their location.  We had to meet with several managers, wait for phone calls to be made and then, we ended up writing a check for part of the transaction and we had to use a credit card for the remainder.  I felt like a criminal! This may be petty and juvenile, but I hope that the person(s) responsible for jacking our card get a scorching case of herpes for all of the trouble they’ve put us through.  Tomorrow we need to go to the credit union, order replacement cards and make sure that there is a recorded document/computer note stating that our eldest will be using a debit card from another account while overseas to withdraw cash for housing and incidentals.  I can’t imagine the headache involved if she was denied while away from home and in a foreign country.

I’d planned on warping up a little rigid heddle loom to make some dish towels, but a serious lack of energy put a damper on those plans.  It’s a full week ahead as we round out February and head into March.  Cheers!

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “February Fiber and Fire

  1. Karen O

    I’m SOOOOOOOOO happy that you got an offer on the house! You have also been a very busy girl with the strings…your stuff, as always, looks amazing! I’m working on the second of a pair of socks…just started the heel on the toe-up sock…turning a corner, as it were! I’m finally starting to feel better, so maybe–if the stars align–I can make it down south again to see you all and visit with my new nephew! Love to all!

  2. knitwonpurltoo

    I will congratulate you on the house when you close. I’m superstitious. You have been a busy girl. And, I’m so sorry about Brian’s job. We could both rant about Washington, but it won’t do our blood pressure any good, so I guess I won’t. You can, though. I’m thrilled for A1. Such anticipation and angst. Hugs, girl. Don’t stay away so long if you can avoid it, please!!!

  3. Roxie Matthews

    You don’t post all that often, but you sure do post big! Yay for the offer. Keeping fingers crossed so hard! Yay for catching the debit card fraud before too much damage occurred. Bummer that the clean-up is so damn annoying though. May the thief repent and repay. A hotel in Singapore? And Macys? Odd combo. The glass is awesome. Thanks for sharing. the projected job cut sucks rocks. Let’s fire all the republican assholes in congress!

  4. Wow, you have been very busy! I hope everything goes off well and her trip to Japan is test-book smooth.

  5. Very best wishes that the house sale goes through without a hitch. Have you chosen where you are going to move to?
    The glass blown art work is amazing, have no idea how he avhieves it. Spectacular. We saw glass blowing on Murano but it wasn’t as impressive as his final object.

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