Eeeek! I see that I last posted on Sunday and here it is Thursday again. Time certainly flies, especially at this time of year. With Christmas nearly upon us there are still several birthdays over the next month. First up is D's (my husband) burthday on Monday. I knew it was soon but had forgotten just how soon - until he reminded me. Nothing like a supposedly grown-up guy who still thinks of himself as a kid! Doncha just have to love 'em?
After that it is our youngest grandgirl's turn to have her very first birthday on 6 Dec. Party day is on 10 Dec. L is becoming such a sweet little cutiepie! Shopping for her present was a pleasure but not easy when you know that Christmas follows so closely.
The other family birthday is for my nephew, J, who will be 21 shortly before Christmas. As he lives in Melbourne, Australia, I didn't think I would be getting him anything but my sister tells me she is going over there for his birthday. I'll think about it. $ are tight all year round but especially at this time of year. And what do you get for a 21yo nephew who seems to have most things he needs?
I did buy another birthday present while I was in town this week. This time it was for our daughter, K. Her birthday isn't until June but she will still be overseas then so I got it now. After all, she will need it while she's away to take all the photos I expect to see! (Have you guessed that it is a camera? An entry-level digital that isn't excellent but none of us a camera-buffs. It'll be fine. For now.)
I have done some knitting this week - I finished the pink wristwarmers and am halfway up the hat. Sooo lovely and soft! I should have finished that hat by now but some days I really can't be bothered to knit and the last two or three days have been like that, even though the weather was quite cool until today. I decided to have a fold-up brim on the hat for extra warm around the ears, and because I think it looks better. I hope to get three repeats of the cable pattern before the decreasing comes in. It should look ok, I think.
I have been think more about a dyeing project than my knitting in the last few days. A little while back I learned of a dyeing method, called "Dartmoor dyeing", for 4 kg of raw fleece where you end up with 48 little piles in various shades and tints of the original 4 colours. But I needed a fairly large, preferably white, raw fleece. And I didn't have one! (oooh, time to get excited - fibre-buying time!)
I didn't want to spend the earth on a fleece, either, in case it didn't come out very well. Where could I find a nice, soft but not too fine, white fleece? With sheep farmers all around here you would think it would be a fairly easy task - but not necessarily so. Most breeders I know of that breed for spinning have coloured sheep. The white breeders tend to shear their sheep on an 8-month rotation and send the wool to the buyer. A fleece which has only grown for 8 months is not really long enough for nice, easy spinning.
At the same time all this thinking was going on, I had a spinning wheel on TradeMe (a NZ version of ebay). It sold to a local lady! (Yay, no packing and shipping!!) It turned out I knew this lady. She and her husband breed sheep and she is a spinner. I had been going to ring her about my quest but kept forgetting to. To cut a long story slightly shorter, she brought me four fleeces to choose from when she came to pick up the wheel. I now have two, large, lovely white fleeces in my dining room (I must move them, but where to? Not really enough room in my craft room! I don't want to run the risk of moth-damage in the garage.) one for me and the other for our spinning group. I thought it would be a good group project for our annual dyeing-day in March.
I have already thought of what I would like to do with this wool (once it is dyed and spun, of course). Isn't it absolutely gorgeous?! It is from a Japanese book I learned about on Knitter's Review. I think that I like every project in this book. But it is all in Japanese!
We do have a member of our spinning group who is Japanese. She spends part of the year here and the rest in Japan. I thought she was due back here in October but so far I haven't seen her. I hope she is ok.
But, back to the book, I think I can understand enough from the charts to be able to work the colour pattern out. My spinning will no doubt be at a different guage to that of the pattern so some tweeking would be inevitable even if it was in English. I think I will start with the hat. That should give me an idea if it will all work out.
Here is a photo of the book in question. I bought it through YesAsia (sorry, I will have to look up the link sometime). It took a while to arrive but was well worth the wait. There are some really nice cable patterns in the book as well as a nice entrelac one. Can you tell I really love the book?
Sooo...that is much of what has been occupying my life and thoughts over the last few days. I wonder what the weekend will bring?