Monday, January 23, 2017


And now I'm into 2017, only three weeks late.

Last year I had the blog equivalent of "mission creep."  I didn't post much because I lost track of why I was writing it at all.

I've been doing this for almost 7 years now.  At the time it was a good way to share pictures with my parents, and to let far-flung friends know what was happening in my life.  Some of those friends had blogs of their own.  But things change with time.  The parents are no longer here, and Facebook took over the place of blogs.  And with being able to check in on everyone at once on Facebook, my friends rarely take the effort to go read this.  There are some exceptions--my friend Gill has gently nagged me for not writing--but she's laid up with a broken leg and bored to the back teeth.  I have a cousin in Kansas City who reads it (but hasn't for awhile, possibly because I went so long without posting).  And there is my Mystery Person--someone from Mountain View, California who shows up on my feed from time to time (Hey!  Mountain View!  Leave a comment and introduce yourself sometime).

So if I'm shouting into the emptiness, why bother to shout?

I've thought about it, and decided that the blog is for me.  I could keep a more private diary, but somehow putting it out there (and I do get random hits from all over) makes me write as though I have an audience, even if the main audience is me (and Bob).  Sometimes I go back and pick a previous year at random, and I read about something I did 4 or 5 years ago, and it really brings back the memories.

So the blog will go on.

There might be more "things" in it.  I'm an obsessive maker--I need to be making something to be happy.  Rarely is it anything big but it is constant, and something that I do daily.  It's been this way my entire life--I always had "projects."  When I was a kid and Mom would send me to my room, it really wasn't much of a punishment.  She would come to let me know that my time was up, and find me involved in whatever was the current project.  (She tried removing said projects before the time-outs, but then her announcement of "you can come out now" was often met with "as soon as I finish this chapter."  She gave up on time-outs as a punishment).  If I ever go on a trip, my first thought is "what spinning/knitting will I take with me?"  Second is "what book?"  Eventually I'll think about clothes.

What sort of things?  Mostly will be what my friend Jed used to call "demon thread."  I'm a fiber junkie.  But maybe some other stuff.

So . . . three weeks into 2017--what have I been working on?

For starters, finishing up Christmas.  I have a friend who loves all things cephalopod, so I knit her (out of handspun yarn, of course) a Squid Scarf.  That got *really* tedious.  It wasn't difficult--there was just a lot of it, and with just a little shaping for the gills, it got a bit boring.  And then all of the suckers had to be embroidered on--but it's cute, and different, and she likes it.

One of my co-workers like the mitts that I made from the wool of the museum's sheep and wanted some, so I churned out another pair.

And just a quickie sew job--we sometimes have to dress up to work on the farm at the museum.  I have my own clothes (of course) but we have a selection of dresses there for other people.  But for some reason the aprons disappeared so I made one (the museum ones are plain but my personal one had ruffles, so they wanted ruffles.  Also had to put in pockets--farm wives need to carry keys and cell phones)

Sometimes I have to make something just to get it out of my system, even when I know I won't wear/use the final product.  Things like my Lord of the Rings cloak or my 13-foot long Dr. Who scarf. 

  I ignore that nagging feeling as long as possible, then just give up and make the darned thing.  The latest is a kick spindle.
I spin--a lot.  I have several spinning wheels, and use them when I need to churn out some yarn (such as for the hats/mitts for the gift shop and the Squid Scarf).  For the joy of spinning, of feeling the fibers slip through my fingers, I use hand spindles.  Wheels are faster, but you have to sit in one spot.  Spindles are more portable and you can wander around and spin (such as during my daily walk, which makes me keep taking the daily walk).   So I've been curious about a tool called a kick spindle, which seems to me to take the downside of the two and put them together.  It's a spindle that is on a stand on the floor, and you turn it by kicking it.  So you have to sit in one spot, but it's not as productive as a spinning wheel.  (to see one in action, check out You Tube--  And the ergonomics aren't great--you have to twist to one side to spin.  But I really wanted to try one.  It's not like I can run to my local spinning store to sample (there's a store 5 hours from here but I don't know if they carry them).  So the choice is to a) try to ignore that nagging feeling; b) buy one (@$100) or c) make one.  Obviously I opted for c), got it put together, determined that it works, and that, sure enough, I won't use it.  Can put that behind me now.
There are a few other things in process but I need to take some pictures.
My other goal for 2017 is to read more.  My reading seems to have drifted to being only when I go to bed, which means it takes me a long time to get through a book.  I see by looking back though this blog that years ago I started keeping track of my reading but that went by the wayside.  So--current reading:
Sinclair Lewis, "It Can't Happen Here" written in 1935 as a satirical (?) political novel  that juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a president who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, sex, crime, and a liberal press."  It is truly disturbing.  Suggested by my sister-in-law.  Margo--the next time you recommend a book I want it to be about fluffy bunnies.
Karina Gromer, "The Art of Prehistoric Textile Making."  Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Age textiles from Central Europe.  What can I say--I'm a textile nerd.

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