15 February, 2010

Keep on spinning

It is amazing how fast time flies when you are busy. Every day for days now I've said to myself, "need to update the blog today." But then, all of a sudden it is the end of the day and I haven't done it.

I have been busy though, not just watching TV and eating bon bons, I promise. I handed in my two papers on time and am now working on the next round of essays and papers. I told a friend last week that graduate school was definitely one of the hardest things I've done so far, but also one of the most gratifying. I was always the type that did well in school, and I am very happy to be back in my element.

Last week was crazy on the personal side of things. "They" say that things happen in three's, and last week that was evident in my life. Within a 24 hour time span we had two minor crises, and just when I was beginning to calm down, my husband called to say he would be late getting home, as he had been rear-ended on the interstate. He is fine, and that was my 3, and hopefully I'm done for a bit.

Despite all of the writing and crisis management, there has been some spinning happening. Knitting too, for that matter, but I don't have any pictures of that yet. Look for a finished sweater next week, though, if all goes well.

I have swatched for my Polwarth sweater, and am quite pleased with the results.

Two swatches, that I intentionally knit into cuffs so that I could wear them and see how the yarn held up. I would not be a very happy spinner and knitter if I spent the better part of a year making my masterpiece, only to have it pill and wear out quickly. I am happy to report that these swatches, one knit on size 5 needles and one on size 4, are both holding up very well, which makes me very happy! To that end, I started the long process of spinning up the remainder of the 1kg of wool. Sad to say, I haven't gotten very far.

But any progress is still progress, so I'll take it.

I'll freely admit that one reason I haven't gotten very far is that I have recently acquired some new toys, and we all know that sometimes playing with the new toys has to take precedence. You see, I realized that, as much as I love this wool, if I am going to tie my wheel up with spinning for this large of a project, I'm probably going to get bored with it from time to time. A second wheel is out of the question for the time being, but spindles are not! And spindles are portable. And you can have lots of them without taking up too much space. With all that in mind, I set out to find some nice spindles.

I already had this one, a .88oz Spinsanity. It was my first spinning purchase, actually. It is currently handling a bit of a long term project itself, some merino/silk from Ashland Bay.

My second spindle was purchased a month or so ago, a beatiful Bosworth Mini that spins something akin to frog hair! Currently it is preoccupied with a sample of this lovely BFL/Silk from Spunky Eclectic.

This lovely fiber came in the same package as my latest spindle purchase, a Kundert and a Jenkins Turkish Delight. I bought the Kundert for plying, and here it is, performing a quite admirable job of plying my first singles off of the Bosworth, a little bit of the Polwarth that I snatched from the sweater project.

The Turkish Delight has been working hard at spinning another Polwarth Sample that Francine sent me last year. I just adore the way it spins. It also keeps following me around the house whispering "spin me." I try to ignore it, but it is just so cute I can't resist.

With all of that, someone still suggested I needed a new spindle yesterday! I think I'll wait just a bit on that one!

04 February, 2010

Taking a break

I'm taking a short break from paper writing. I wish I was spinning, or knitting, or really, anything else. But papers it is this week, and now the deadline approaches for two short papers, and as usual, I'm down to the wire. I'm the queen of procrastination in many respects, though I have gotten better in many regards over the years. This time, it was not my fault though, I swear. I'll make it, I (nearly) always do, but it will be close.

That little bit of snow we had? Yeah, it messed up my whole week of carefully laid plans (that, by the way, involved having both of my papers done by now). I think I mentioned that here in the south, even a little bit of snow is a very big deal. Enough to keep the kids out of school for three days. Three days that I intended to have at least part of to myself for research and writing ended up being three days with three very restless chidren. Add a head cold for me into the mix, and understandably, I did not get as much done as I had hoped. Today, they all happily left for school after a one hour delay, only to have one child call home sick after only an hour at school. So yet another challenging day. Sigh. It will be a long night.

Once papers are handed in however, I plan to take a little time to myself to finish knitting my swatches for the sweater, and maybe work on the sleeve of the other sweater that is almost done. With any luck, my next blog post will include some pretty pictures to show off, maybe even of one completed sweater. Hopefully, I'll have some good grades to report as well.

For now though, I'm signing off to get back to work.