Sunday, October 29, 2006

My adventures with Dad

The trip north with Dad went well if a little harrowing at the beginning. Dad wanted to go in his car, which was fine with me, but he also wanted to drive! Not good! With age and infirmity (among other things both hips have been replaced more than once and are very stiff due to lack of exercise) Dad is no longer a good driver. My sister, L, refuses to be a passenger in his car and always insists on driving!

I am not my sister and am not as "bossy" as she is! So Dad drove - sometimes in the centre and sometimes near the side of the road. Sometimes at 80 or 90 km and sometimes at 110 km! (By the way, the speed limit on the open road is 100 km) He wanted to put on his sunglasses so got me to hold the wheel while he did so. At one stage he got right up behind a vehicle and indicated to overtake. This was on a long corner and I could see cars coming towards us not far away! I nearly yelled at him!! I'm sure my blood pressure was nearly double normal - I KNOW my stress levels were mighty high!

But another thing about Dad - he doesn't like to negotiate a town he is unfamiliar with. About 10 minutes out of our destination he pulled to the side of the road and let me carry on. Big relief! So I carried on from there, not terribly happy driving a fairly unfamiliar and larger car than mine but the stress levels did begin to drop. We arrived safely.

Visited T, my eldest son. Sadly, his partner, S, and two daughters (my grandgirls!) weren't there as they are visiting S's mother for a few weeks awaiting the birth of a new nephew. But it was nice to catch up with T and make plans for his visit next weekend. It was then on to my other son, M, his fiancee R (yes! they got engaged last weekend!) and my daughter, K, who lives with them. Again great to catch up. They are all coming down next weekend (it is Guy Fawkes and we will be having a bbq, bonfire and fireworks as usual) but I think M and R will be staying at R's parents' place. But we will fit them in if we need to. Thank goodness for a large house!

After all the visiting it was time to head home. As it was about teatime Dad got me to stop off for a meal at an old favourite place of his. A reasonable meal for a good price - just a little noisy, though. Hard to hear Dad talking and I'm sure he couldn't hear me as he is rather deaf.

Back in the car after the meal (yay, I'm still driving!) do you think we could go straight home? Nah uh, not Dad! He is a long-time wanderer when it comes to outings in the car and this was no exception! "How would you like to go back through...?" So off the beaten track we went. Now keep in mind, people, that by this time the sun is very low in the sky and we were heading straight for it on a totally unfamiliar road. It was also extremely windy. Both my hands had to stay firmly on the wheel.

So we are driving down the road going goodness knows where! Even Dad couldn't remember when he had last been along that particular road. We ended up where we were headed, though. Going out through the other side of the town I had an inkling of where Dad's mind would be heading to. I was right! So we ended up visiting an old (well, she isn't really that old!) friend we had last seen probably three or four years ago. Lovely, friendly lady. Great to catch up with her.

Late leaving, though. Still half an hour to get back to where Dad lives and another half hour's drive for me after that. After 11 pm when I got in, tired and pleased to get home.

And am I getting on with my fibery goodness today? Not yet, but I did put a link to KRs webring on my sidebar! See it? I actually did it! Just hope it works, now.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

No fibre for me today!

Sorry, no pics today. I was to have had a lovely, long weekend to myself doing all sorts of fibery things while my DH went to the car racing. But no, it looks as if that is not to be - my Dad, thinking that I would be lonely, has invited me for lunch today and then wants to go north to see the kids.

Sigh! I love my Dad - but I had the whole weekend planned! I could get out of it, but I don't think I will. At a fairly frail 81 you never know where life will take him, so I don't really want to miss the opportunity to spend time with him or deny him of time spent with his grandkids.

So, a-travelling I will go. Maybe tomorrow I will be able to spend time with the alpaca I washed a couple of days ago. More on that next time!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Strong Fleece Challenge

As promised here are the photos of the project our whole spinners and weavers group got behind early this year.

The NZ Creative Fibre Festival this year included a strong wool fleece challenge where groups entered articles made from a strong fleece - the one chosen by our Area was Border Leicester. As you can see from the above photo we had a great time together combing, spinning and plying the fleece which had previously been washed by moi. Once the wool had been plied I took it all home and looked at it for a while. After about a week of cold, rainy weather (this was meant to be late summer!) all I could think of was Spring - so spring colours this yarn became. Daffodil colours, in fact!

The clubs in our Area had decided that each club would make a cushion (easier for the delegate to squash into her luggage to take to the Festival). To save on construction time I conscripted one of our ladies to weave the back for the cushion, leaving the decision on the type of weave up to her. She chose to use a twill weave and stripe the colours across it with the pale yellow as the base.

To be on the safe side she asked me to dye another skein of this colour, as she wasn’t sure there would be enough. Out came the dyepot again – thank goodness I took notes the first time! The skein came out exactly the same shade as the original – even I was shocked!

It was then time for the other ladies to start working on the front of the cushion. To include as many as possible I had thought to construct this piece in a scrumble/freeform fashion. Having never knitted anything like this before, there was a little scepticism at first but once it was started the ladies actually enjoying working on it and the cushion quickly took shape.

Once it was roughly the dimensions I had asked for, I joined the cushion pieces together. Not the simple job I had first thought, though! I had been going to join it all together with an attached I-cord but, for some unknown reason, the edges showed through the I-cord stitches. Not nice at all. Instead, I knitted a stst border on the front and sewed it on the back. Time was getting very short, so I am not that pleased with the quality of this part. Too bad, at least it did get finished just in time.

Enjoyable though it all was, I don’t think our group will be in a hurry to take part in another Challenge too soon!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

My first post! Wow, I can hardly believe that I will actually have a blog. I wonder if I will ever have anything to say that anyone will actually want to read. Never mind - here goes...

To introduce myself - I am married with 3 grownup children and two beautiful little granddaughters. I am privileged to live in a small rural town nestled into the South Island (the mainland!) of New Zealand.

My fibre-loves (since that is what I have created this blog for) are mainly spinning and knitting. I have dabbled a little in weaving in the past but it isn't really for me at this stage. In fact in the dim, distant past I have dabbled in many different crafts but that, my blogland friends, is another story for another day.

I belong to (am actually president of) the local spinners and weavers group. This is a fairly small group of mainly older ladies - I can safely say that I am the youngest member at present. Most are reasonably active in the group but as they age (average age, apart from me, would probably be about 68 or more) they are becoming more content with doing the same old thing. Very difficult to come up with new and varied ideas. They really are sweeties, though! And when there is a project to do they do get behind it. If I can work it out I will post photos one day soon of what the group did this year as a challenge.

But I think that is enough from me for now. Time for me to go and finish Mona Schmidt's Embossed Leaves Socks from the Winter 2005 Spin Off. Just the toes to go. I may even treat you to a photo of these, too, soon! Cheerio for now!