Tuesday, August 01, 2006

αφήστε τα παιχνίδια να αρχίσουν

According to the online translator that I used, the above is the translation in to Greek - modern, I assume - of Let the Games Begin!

I have never studied Greek. Latin, yes, I have dim shreds and shards of memory of Latin. I put the same words into the translator for that, and didn't recognise anything that came out, so the above probably says something like two taramasalata and hold the lemon. Or worse.

But it is a momentous day, and needed marking somehow. It is the first day of August. 1/08/06. It is the first day of my birthday month. As this is a special birthday, I am having, in my head at least, an entire month of celebration. Well, in some ways, year, but publicly one whole month, and today is the day that it kicks off. So...

Let the Games Begin!

I first of all did a huge amount of ironing, which had built up again with the hot weather (that happens, you know, temperatures in excess of 25C encourage the rapid proliferation of unironed shirts. Fact.) That isn't as daft as it might sound at first hearing, the DSM now has enough shirts to last for weeks, so I can forget about it again. Well done, me.

Then, I finished off plying a skein of red yarn. This came from a Falkland roving that I had dyed myself, as I considered it, badly. It looked like a robin in a blender. I very nearly threw it but at the very last minute reprieved it and have spun it up rather quick and dirty to see if it would make socks. And it is quite amazing, it looks much nicer spun, and is perfectly usable. Well, whadja know!

red yarn

Then, I picked up a chunk of the Jacob, which had managed against all odds to dry. It isn't half bad. Quite short stapled, on the cusp of "would be better spun longdraw", but I really didn't want to card it, did want a worsted yarn, and thought I would see what a quick comb-out would do. Quite nicely, actually. It is not the best Jacob I have ever had, but is better than most. It feels funny spinning fleece again, I haven't done any for ages. Maybe this will inspire me to deal with the minor mountain that I have stashed away.....

jacob yarn

This fleece needs spinning up quite quickly, I didn't wash it quite well enough. I was rushing to get it out into the fine weather, knowing that it was likely to change, and I should have given it another hot soapy soak.

When I wash fleece, I fill the sink with the hottest water I can stand, and use a good squirt of washing up liquid, usually Ecover. I leave it soaking for ten minutes or so, more and the grease resettles on the fibre as the water cools. I drain, and usually repeat, maybe more than once if the fleece is particularly dirty. This wasn't, so I just gave it the one soapy wash, and then rinsed a couple of times. Same procedure, fill sink with hot water, leave ten minutes. Repeat as necessary - and in this case, a further wash and rinse would have been good. Never mind, it will do.

When I first started spinning, it was considered sissy to wash fleece, spinning in the grease was the thing. Especially for a beginner, it "helped the yarn to stick together." Good grief. People still worry a lot about felting the fibre. I have only ever done that once, and that was with some Polwarth(?) in a washing machine, attempting to spin dry it. I may have mentioned it before....... With some fleeces, hot washing is essential to remove the waxiness, Wensleydale for one. A cold wash makes it disgustingly sticky. Merino and other superfines too, in fact, for the same reasons, but with greater caution. The swishing locks about in very hot soapy water does actually work, I've done it.

While I had the camera out, I finally got around to photographing the Noro shawl-in-progress. Doesn't it look like moorland!

noro shawl

Actually, having said that, the "peat" is right up the top left hand corner, and not terribly noticeable, but I think it is, anyway.

Tomorrow's indulgence is a trip to the hairdresser's. You have been warned!


kimd said...

And what color will the stripes be this year? ;)

Anonymous said...

zinpecan't wait to hear about the haircolor and design, perhaps circles this time.
waiting with bated breath.