Sunday, December 10, 2006

Yaketty yak

And stuff.

I seem to have crammed a lot into the last few days, but without a great deal of progress on the fibre front.

But we have seen not one, but two operas, and done the greater part of the Christmas shopping!

First. The Jacob bag. Not looking too bad, but thus far refusing to felt, dammit. I will try a hotter wash, and see what happens, but I'm not convinced.

Jacob bag

Friday was hectic - I had my AH class on Friday. I had bought some lovely bamboo top and some Optim from Chameleon Colorworks when at SOAR, and from somewhere else - I can't remember where, except I know it wasn't from Janel even though she had some that I saw afterwards - some yak.

The bamboo and the Optim were pretty straightforward to spin. I like to do them shortdraw from the fold, and this was how I advised the group, although I did see some reverting to their preferred straight from the end of the top method. That's fine - I'm happy to encourage independence of thought! Opinions were very mixed on the Optim, and I was actually quite pleased that some of them, like me, found it lifeless to spin. Others loved it, though, and I had done my level best not to bias opinions before canvassing them.

Most struggled a bit with the yak, which surprised me not one bit, I had struggled myself. It is such a short "staple", for want of a better word. I love it, though, it is so warm and cosy in the hand. We carded it lightly first - I think it might respond well to being made into punis, but I decided to live with the barely irregular yarn I was getting without - and then used a point of contact method. I love this spinning technique, but students often have difficulty. It's all right for me, I'm the teacher, I make it look easy they say. I have difficulty convincing them that it is quite an easy method as long as they relax and have a little confidence. I show them how I am not "spinning" the down fibre per se, just letting it spin itself by gently easing the forming yarn out of the fibre supply. Some got it, others didn't. I need to do some more work with down fibres, I think.

The DSM dropped me off and picked me up, and we went straight into Leeds for the opera. We saw "Peter Grimes", which was wonderful, an incredibly moving performance. And long - we were late home, and as I had had an earlier than usual start.......

Anyway, we had decided that as we had to go back in to Leeds for the next evening's performance, of "La Voix Humaine" by Poulenc, we should go in early and knock off as much of the Christmas shopping as possible. I amazed myself by not conking out halfway through, and had my reward of a rather nice curry in a little restaurant near the Grand. Oh, and another reward of finding myself wandering past a small bead shop.....

The opera? H'mm. Liked the music very much, and the singer was great. Set reasonable, I suppose, but much more cluttered than I really liked. But the story and the character of the young woman and her unheard lover at the other end of the telephone? Needed a good slap upside the head, the pair of them. Having no sympathy whatsoever for the (central) character in a theatrical performance, or even a deep hatred, makes it difficult to fully engage. This is a young woman who should definitely take up knitting, spinning or better yet both.

Still and all, a nice couple of days. Today, a much gentler time, and I have even managed a little spinning. More yak - I have plenty left to make at the least some lovely toasty wristlets.

Time, I think, for a gratuitous cat picture. And thrown in for good measure, a gratuitous DSM picture. They come galloping to greet him when he gets home from work, and this can be the result.

(no subject)

And no, he doesn't have a string of Christmas lights around his neck.


Midsummer night's knitter said...

Give us our cats back!

janel said...

Hi Carol,

Just checking in to your blog and had several nice posts to read. I wonder if you're coming to SOAR again next year? I feel so lost without my "tribe" now that I've found them.

Optim is definitely a controversial fiber. Some love, some hate, some switch sides.

Well, I wish you lovely holidays whichever winter festivities you're celebrating. Thanks for the good reading!