Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just an ordinary day

I have been doing the monthly AH class for slightly more than ten years, now. I actually find it quite hard to believe that, but I have the paperwork to prove it. People come and go, a lot of spinning (and other stuff) goes on, many a new spinner has been launched upon the world.

And we tell jokes, do daft things and have fun. So, this time:

We had a visitor. Who, given only a small amount of encouragement, would gaily sing "Splish, splash, I was having a bath". And for those who like me could sing along but not remember who the original recording artist was, it was apparently Bobby Darin.

Someone had won Supreme Champion at a local show with a handspun, hand knitted garment, and had to endure a lot of teasing about being led around the ring sporting the rosette, and also had to be Queen for the Day.

And in case any should think that we just spent the day mucking about, work was done.

Not quite what I had originally intended, but it went quite well none the less. I had scheduled "fibre blending", meaning types of fibre, but I left it late to get supplies and had to have a quick rethink. So I took along some different colours, some tussah and some throwster's waste; drum carders and a hackle - hand cards work well, of course, too.

This was one batt that I tried at home first, using our new Ashford drum carder. We chose this one because although smaller overall, it has much depth of tooth on the drum, and has a fitted packer brush. I think I am going to like it a lot. I'll have more photos of a project of my own soon, I hope.

It was as always a nice day, and the kitchen staff had pulled out all the stops for tea - we had cream and jam with our scones, a first in my recollection, as well as several kinds of cake. I actually am often very good and don't stay on for tea - I'm not sure if it was the right or wrong day to do so.........

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What can I say?

I'm here, I'm alive, I'm awake (kinda). And I have no photos, don't all scream at me at once. One at a time would be quite enough!

I have been doing a lot of things, but not so much fibre work. There has been a little (very little) bit of spinning, both wheel and spindle; some sock knitting (and unknitting, as yet again I realised that I had picked up for the instep before turning the heel, not a good look - or fit).

I could take photographs of a bit of stash enhancement that has been going on, with having had to take trips to both Coldspring Mill (Noro Silk Garden sufficient for a garment, Debbie Bliss silk for small shawls and a free skein of Araucania sock yarn because we were spending so much); and Adelaide Walker (for dyed merino for a colourful S-spun-on-a-spindle-shawl; but also class supplies, so not all wicked indulgence.....) This all in the interests of entertaining our visitor, you understand.

Who most definitely deserved entertaining. An early riser, she got lumbered with feeding the starving, starving I tell you, trio of cats who could not believe their luck that there was someone up and active at 5.30!!, and willing to feed them (plus calling in those who were apparently AWOL, guarding Ole Snaggletooth and even cleaning up regurgitated breakfast on at least one occasion.

Above and beyond, I tell you.

It has been a grand couple of weeks. I also need to say thank you for the most brilliant courgette (ok, zucchini) recipe. Coarsely grate aforementioned and throw in to frying pan. Scatter with grated cheese. Eat. Only, I did embellish a bit - cooked courgettes more or less, then made four depressions in the veg and cracked an egg in to each. Cooked a bit more, added the cheese and then browned under the grill. I rather over-cooked the eggs - will know better, next time.

It looked really pretty in the pan, and I should have taken a photograph, but it would have gone cold whilst I got the camera.

Then there is the super-fiery-hot homemade salsa. We bought chilis (sp?). They are mild, we said, intending to use, as normal, only one or two. Only somehow a further couple of packs came home with us and got thrown in. And they were not all that mild. Still, it is great salsa, and the addition of creme fraiche a stroke of genius.

So, now. There are things afoot that will be discussed in due course. Meanwhioe, we are having a few days off, (apart from AH tomorrow). Then I am off to Knit Nation at the end of next week, which promises to be fun, and I will take pics. A friend is coming back with me for a couple of nights, and then the rest of August is scheduled to be holiday, except for the appointment with the eye doc that I am trying not to think about.

There are ideas buzzing around in the brain about Projects - I am hoping that some time off will allow these to develop and just maybe even get started.

I may even write the odd blog post. Actually, I shall take the notebook to London, so there may even be some on-the-spot-reporting.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Poor, neglected blog....

Although never too slow to write about other matters, I write this blog primarily as a means to focus and record fibre work that I am doing. As a consequence, when Real Life gets in the way and there is none to document other than a yard or two of yarn spun and an inch or two of sock knitted, the result here tends to be silence.

As at present. We have been busily occupied meeting people at airports, transporting them places, visiting other friends (most enjoyably) in the process, so on and so forth. Lots of chat; lots of things happening. But not all that much blog fodder, so to speak.

A little something to redeem myself. Last weekend was the annual Alston Hall Retreat, and although I says it myself as one of those organising this year, a cracking good one. But then, they always are.

Half of those attending were working under the eagle eye of Sara
I'm afraid I have no photographs of them, I was far too busy slaving away over in Housecraft very happily dyeing with Debbie.

We started off with a sample skein, thus:

I don't know why I had never thought of doing this before, but I hadn't. Debbie does this in a microwave, but it translates perfectly well to a pan; a Coven Dye Day is planned.

Then I painted blanks - two pairs of socks and a bag. I had to rush to get them all done, and completely forgot to photograph mine - here are someone else's as an example.

Whilst I was bag painting, the really keen ones were winding enormous long skeins for self striping sock yarn, which seemed to involve a very great deal of hilarity as well as serious work:

If you notice the two lilac lab coats here, imagine what the startling and somewhat creepy appearance of a roomful of people wearing those might be when coming upon it some fifties sci-fi movie involving snatched body parts or something.

We are home and absolutely shattered. We keep falling asleep all over the place. I can't believe that this is all down to advancing years - surely.....

Although it is the DSM's birthday today! To be well celebrated this evening with a nice meal out. I am the designated driver, so stand a chance of staying awake, don't I??