Thursday, March 10, 2016

fibery update

I think this is the preschooler virus winter.  There are kids at school who have been more sick, with antibiotics and there are kids who have bypassed it all.  For us, it has amounted to a day or two on the couch with one or two sick kids nearly every single school week since January, and many weekends.  Both boys had a pretty quiet weekend and stayed home on Monday, and I assigned them each a living room couch.  They went back to school Tuesday, and they seem to be doing ok for now.  That might change at any time.

We normally pvr the specific educational kids' shows that we let them watch, but I have given in to the inevitable...when somebody is home now, we have "sick TV."  That is just leaving on CBC kids or PBS or Family Jr (the three kid oriented channels we get) on.  I know some kids watch this much TV every day--crazy! but we only do it when somebody is too sick to make it at preschool.

Older kids read when they are sick (I certainly did) but my guys aren't readers yet.  So, we take naps, have snacks, and watch a lot of "sick TV" on the couch.  Oh well.  They seem to learn stuff from it.  As soon as they are well enough to play normally, the two of them raise heck, so then it's time to go back to school!

Sick TV lets me do the bare minimum in our house.  I used to think that a sick day would allow for endless knitting time.  Not so.  It allows me to do the three extra loads of laundry (sick kids, remember?) and figure out the next meal and snack.  It lets me do crazy things like trying to answer emails in a timely fashion.  It lets me (gasp here) go to the bathroom by myself, although even that requires strategies.

When folks are well enough to play, I can spin on my wheel in the basement playroom.  Here are four new skeins of hand spun yarn produced recently:

The fuschia/burgundy skein is a one ply single of burgundy/fuschia medium wool, with multi-color wool locks spun in.  It was then plied with a commercial yarn: a matching high twist mercerized cotton embroidery floss with a lot of shine.

The white/pink skein is one ply of Romney/Texel wool (Manitoba wool) spun from the lock, plied with a commercial pink cotton/viscose yarn with little added bits of silk warp leftovers/thrums.

Then, there's one skein of Border Leicester wool (naturally brown, washed, picked, carded and spun by me) plied with an aqua commercial silk yarn, and a 2 ply Border Leicester skein of yarn that matches this.  

I dropped those 4 skeins of at Ram Wools this week; they're for sale if you're interested.  I think the art yarns would look great with a laceweight yarn or thread, knitted up as scribble lace.  If you buy two matching skeins, it would be enough for a cowl or hat.

When my fiber time is so short, I look at old projects in a new way.  I want to save old things, darn and fix and renovate.  My best guess is that I started the first version of Heart's Ease Socks in 2006, according to this blog post.  My Heart's Ease socks have been worn faithfully most Februaries, right around Valentine's.  However, this year found me pulling the socks out of my drawer permanently.  Knit Picks' Palette yarn is not a super wash wool, and my sock had fulled (nearly felted) through wear.  I wear my clothing very hard, so this isn't a real surprise, but now the socks were hard to pull over my heel to get on.

However, they seem to make mighty fine mitts.  I cut a hole in the heel, picked up stitches on a set of  2.5mm double point needles, and knitted a thumb tip for each sock.  I went back after I knitted the thumbs and reinforced that join between the old heel stitches and the new thumbs.  I haven't gotten a chance to wear them yet, but I think they will be a warm and cheery winter layer.

The reason I haven't worn them yet is that it has been unseasonably warm!  Only around freezing (OC, 32F) and that is shockingly warm for March in Manitoba.  All the snow is melting early, and I hardly need double layer mitts anymore.  What a surprise.

I was extremely lucky in that weather on Tuesday, when my whole day spiraled out of control.  I brought the boys to preschool (kicking and screaming that they were TOO SICK, MOMMY!  I ignored that.  If they are well enough to scream like that?  They're fine.) and dropped them off at school.  There, I discovered there was a parent board meeting, and I felt guilty so I went.  When that ended, I rushed to the grocery store.

I did a big shop, got everything into the car, and sat down to look at the receipt, where I discovered an error.  Rushing in to try to get it fixed?  I locked my keys in the car.  AHHHH!  The professor was in the middle of lecturing to his class, and his car was in the shop, so no help there, he couldn't help me.  I hiked through the yucky dirty melting snow drifts to the boys' preschool.  A teacher (an angel in disguise!) was outside and drove me home.  I dug through another dirty snow drift to find that special hidden key...let myself in, got the spare key, the teacher drove me back to the car in the grocery store parking lot, and I could drive home.  Thank goodness.

Then I unloaded all those groceries, rushed to a physio/physical therapy class, and came back to pick up the boys.  That was it.  The whole day.  Gone.  No work time to speak of.

All I could think of was how lucky I'd been.  It wasn't -40 out, I could walk places.  I found help.  I hadn't been trying to do it with both 4 year olds in tow.  All good.  Not exactly time for writing or spinning or teaching, but given the situation?  It could have been much, much worse...  

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