Category Archives: Knitting, Spinning, & Weaving

Recent Spinning

I’ve been so busy with work these past two weeks that my yarn-making has slowed to a standstill. Yesterday my cold was so bad that pretty much all I could do was sit on the chesterfield, so I dragged the wheel over, set up some BBC living history documentaries on the iPad (Victorian Pharmacy, only four episodes, but traces the evolution of sixty years of medical and general services offered by the local pharmacy; I loved it), and spun all afternoon.

The braid was destashed unidentified domestic wool, dyed in a great colourway I dubbed “All Hail the Mantis Shrimp.” My guess is Falkland, possibly a lower grade of Polwarth. It was a joy to spin. No splitting or predrafting, just end to end spinning across the top.

I’m chain-plying it; this is an earlier photo, it’s about three-quarters done now. I like the slight heathering that’s happening.

Just before this one, I was feeling pretty run down, which is typical of early January after the holidays. I needed something that was kind of a mindless spin, so I grabbed a packet of the KnitPicks fibre I’d ordered to try in the huge November sale. This was ridiculously easy to spin. No matting or felting, and while it’s not the absolute softest stuff I’ve ever spun, it’s softer than I expected it to be. (Apparently I am a bit more of a fibre snob than I’d thought.) 28 wpi singles yarn; no idea of the yardage, because I haven’t skeined it off yet (it’s my least favourite part of spinning). The colourway is “Tidepool,” and is a greeny-blue. It’s really hard to capture in photos.

The colour is closer to this picture:

Kromski Mazurka Prototype Modification

I was recently asked on Ravelry about my modifications that turned a prototype Mazurka (with the wooden orifice cup, domed bobbin, single pulley/whorl, and small flyer) into one that accepts the current Kromski flyers, bobbins, and whorls, at which point I realized I hadn’t actually written up the process HRH and I went through one year ago. So I’m putting this here because it will probably help someone other than the people on Ravelry who own prototype Mazurkas and who can’t use them for whatever reason (broken flyers, bobbins, whatnot).

This was done just about a year ago, so my memory may be a bit off on some steps. I hope there’s enough info here to give you a decent concept of the process, however.

We didn’t attach the MOA extender permanently because I wanted to be able to reuse the original maiden and flyer. (I don’t know, historical value? I haven’t swapped the flyers out since this modification was done a year ago, so I may make the modification permanent.) If your flyer is broken, go ahead and make the MOA extender permanent by screwing/gluing it onto the original MOA. I suggest not doing the permanent thing until you’ve tested the new setup and know it works, though.

This concept uses the distaff bar as part of the support system, which you probably won’t need to do if you make the extender bar permanent. If you don’t have a distaff, don’t panic; you’ll be strapping the old and new MOA bars together anyhow.

Note that this mod reduces the amount of tensioning play you have, since the new flyer is wider than the original one included with the prototype, which reduces the amount of up-and-down adjustment you can make with the tensioning and support screws. I haven’t noticed a critical difference; I just made new drive bands.

Supplies:

New Minstrel flyer
New Minstrel front maiden
New Minstrel whorl(s) (NOTE: We’ve ascertained that the Symphony/Polonaise/Minstrel whorls are pretty much all the same; the ratios just change according to which drive wheel is being used)
Mazurka distaff support (optional; if you’re making the new MOA bar permanent, you won’t need it)
Hand saw
Metal saw (optional)
Level
1×2″ lumber, length about 8″
Clamps
Pencil
Sandpaper
Wood glue
Drill with large bits
Stain/wax (optional)
Velcro strap or small D-ring strap (cable ties would work, too)

New Minstrel flyer and front maiden. And more bobbins, because who doesn’t need more bobbins? Especially if you’re about to have a wheel that will be able to share your current bobbin stock?

1. Cut off the original all-wood maiden. Just the upright part; saw it off level with the MOA bar. Sand it down a bit to get rid of any scratchy bits.

Please use proper safety equipment and don’t cut toward your hand, as HRH is doing here. He is a trained professional and moved it after this shot. Also, respect your tools and just be extra safe while you work, okay? I don’t want to hear that anyone lost fingers doing this. That could negatively impact your spinning performance, after all.

(Optional: At this point, we inserted a wooden peg into the base of the original maiden, and drilled a corresponding hole in the MOA so I could insert the original wooden maiden and use the original flyer. This is beyond the capabilities of the average toolset, though, so I’m not going into it here.)

2. For the new MOA extender: Decide how long you want it to be. The rear end of my 6″ extender goes about halfway back along the original MOA bar, but an MOA extender that goes further back would probably provide more stability. Just give yourself enough clearance at the front to sink the new maiden into it. Hold your piece of lumber up next to the original MOA bar (making sure you leave about 2″ extending past the front of the existing MOA) and mark where the guide hole for the support screw should go. Measure the diameter of the support screw and drill a correspondingly-sized hole all the way through, at least 1″ from the end. It doesn’t need to be threaded, but it does need to be big enough for the support screw to fit through. Don’t make it too big, or it will rattle around a bit. (I know, I know, this is super imprecise. Drill small, because you can always enlarge a bit.)

(Look, HRH now has protective eyewear.)

Below you can see the MOA extender, well, extending way past the front end. We didn’t trim it down till later, because the new flyer is longer than the old, and we wanted to make sure we had enough structural integrity at the front end to support the hole for the new maiden. (Note also that this picture shows the front maiden is in; I’m putting it here to show the next step as well.)

3. Lay the new MOA extender against the current MOA bar. Take the new flyer with a whorl on it (important, as it changes the spacing) and insert the flyer shaft into the existing hole in the Mazurka’s back maiden. Slip/snap the new maiden onto the flyer orifice (you’ll probably have to hold it with your hand). Rest the bottom of the maiden screw on or against the new MOA extender and make sure it’s relatively vertical and straight, as well as centered on the extender bar. A level is helpful here. (You may need to play with the tension screw at the back that raises and lowers the Mazurka MOA in order to ensure the flyer has clearance. The bar is going to go under the existing MOA when it’s finished.) With a pencil, mark where the base of the new maiden has to go on the extender. Set aside the flyer and maiden.

4. Now, you have a choice, and it may depend on the measurements of your particular wheel. (And this is where my memory goes murky, which doesn’t help.) The screw of the new maiden is too long, so you can’t just put the screw alone into the new MOA extender, or the orifice cup will be too high for the flyer to be level and still maintain room for the tension to be increased or decreased. You can (A) measure the depth of your MOA extender and cut down the wooden peg and screw (yes, the screw base goes a long way up into the maiden; if/when you cut it, you’ll need to use a saw that can cut metal) of the new maiden to that depth with a metal saw, or (B) leave the bottom of the wooden peg and/or the screw sticking through the bottom of the MOA extender. (As you can see in the photo above. You can cover it with something. A decorative wooden cube? Pipe cleaners? Plasticine? Felted fibre? I don’t know; you’re artistic, right?)

Measure the width of your maiden peg and drill a hole that size in the new MOA bar where you marked it in the previous step; sink the bottom of the wooden peg into it, and secure it with wood glue. Let it dry. (We cut the screw off, as we didn’t need it, and we needed nothing to be in the way of the distaff bar that was going to serve as lower support for the new MOA extender. And when I look at the bottom of the MOA extender, I can definitely see the base of the wooden peg as well, so we sank the entire base into the MOA extender.) You’ll probably need to do some filing or sanding down of the new maiden’s wooden peg to fit securely into the hole; we had to sand/file down the bottom set of turned rims so it would fit into the MOA extender. And before we set the peg, we also filed some of the wooden base away where it was fitting against the front of the original MOA to create a flatter surface to fit more snugly against it. (That last bit is also optional, if you plan to make this permanent.)

6. Unscrew the Minstrel’s front support screw. Twirl the distaff support bar down a couple of inches, but keep it on the support screw. Place the MOA extender against the bottom of the existing MOA bar and rescrew the support screw up through the hole in the back of the MOA extender. If the distaff support bonks into the MOA extender before the support screw hits the original MOA, twirl it down a bit more. Once the support screw reaches the original MOA, keep holding the extender against the bottom of the original MOA while you twirl the distaff support up the screw again until it’s snug against the extender bar. If you don’t have a distaff, that’s fine! Use a Velcro strap or cable tie to keep the MOA extender snug against the bottom of the original MOA bar. (I use a Velcro or a D-ring strap to keep all three bars centered and snug together, anyway.)

7. Play with the tension screw at the back until the new flyer is relatively level. I find the front tends to be a bit higher, since I have the distaff support bar tight against the MOAs.

Finishing touches!

Sand the square edges of the extender to round them a bit, and do the same to the front of the bar. HRH works in a woodworking shop, so he cut the MOA extender in a fancy rounded shape, using the distaff base as a guide.

Stain and/or wax your new MOA bar to match your Mazurka prototype’s finish (and the new flyer and maiden, if you got them unfinished), let it all dry, and reassemble it.

Want to make the extender bar permanent? Attach it to the original MOA with good wood glue, clamp it, and leave it to dry. (I’d sand the bottom of the original MOA first, to get rid of any finish or coating. And I’d probably screw the new MOA bar into it, too, because I’m nervous. Except HRH would probably drill holes and peg it in instead, using wood glue in those as well as on the matching surfaces.)

Want scotch tension? Place an eye screw at the back on either side of the original MOA roughly even with where the bobbin groove is (or on your MOA extender, if you made it long enough that it reaches all the way back there), then drill a hole for a tension peg in the new MOA extender on whichever side you prefer. Set the peg in the front hole, tie a string to it, run the string back through the eye screw on that side, over the bobbin groove, and down to the opposite eye screw. Watch out; a large spring or elastic will bonk into the flyer arms. You may want to fiddle with this. I’m still not a hundred percent happy with the placement of mine. My MOA extender doesn’t go far enough back to place the second eye screw in it in line with the bobbin groove, but you might be able to place a third eye screw in it toward the front and hook the screw or elastic onto that. (I just thought of that, and it’s not a bad idea. I should try it.)

This photo taken on the day show the temporary jigging of a scotch tension with keys hanging off a paper clip while I tested it out. I’m so classy.

I hope this helps! Feel free to ask me any questions; if I can answer them, I will.

Happy spinning!

Summer Spinning Update

After ages of waffling about whether I’d do it this year or not, I just registered for Spinzilla. It may not be in the best interests of my sanity, but I’m in, for better or for worse. Every yard counts, right?

I wasn’t going to, because Spinzilla is basically a week-long marathon of spinning as much as you can because the yardage is how you’re graded/judged/scored. It’s a fundraiser for the TNNA in the United States for raising awareness of the fibre arts, though people from all over the world participate. I have a work project due in the middle, and a trip at the end of it. But I dragged the Mazurka with me last Thanksgiving during Spinzilla and managed to spin while I was away, and this year my mother tells me she has roving waiting there to be spun into sock yarn, so that’s practically enabling me, right?

My team last year was the inaugural team for Kromski, but I was ehn about it this year because of a change in how it was handled. Also, schedule, etc. But I succumbed at the eleventh hour and joined the new team being hosted by one of my LYSes, Espace Tricot. (The Kromski team was full up by then, so I didn’t have to angst about duty and loyalty.)

No, I have no idea what I’ll be spinning for it yet. But I’ll have to get this finished and off my wheel before things kick off on Monday:

That’s some New Zealand Romney, dyed by an online friend about six years ago. I figure I’ve waited long enough to spin it, right? I spun it end to end, no stripping, and am chain-plying it to preserve the colour shifts. So far, it’s gorgeous, isn’t it? I love the subtle silvers, plums, and ashes-of-roses happening.

And I see that I never posted the last bit of my Tour de Fleece spinning in July, so here:

The finished Pink Rainbow singles yarn (538 yards, singles, 4 oz; I have no idea what I’m going to do with this, it’s so bright):

The Heavy Traffic superwash BFL from SweetGeorgia 4 oz, 3-ply, can’t remember yardage, isn’t that awful — 390-something, I think? 375?):

And the 2 oz of Sunset Stormclouds merino (409 yards, 3-ply, 2 oz, that yardage is nuts):

And I tried spinning cotton again, something I haven’t done since I tried and failed spectacularly with my Louet S15 six years ago. There’s still a learning curve, but I did much better with it this time than I did back then. Overall, I was very happy with my TDF performance this year. I haven’t added up yardage, so I have no idea how much I ended up with; I was just enjoying myself.

In mid-September, before the Romney that’s currently on the bobbins, I spun some plain old BFL into a three-ply sock yarn, to be dyed some interesting colour at some point in the future when I decide I need more handknit socks. (No picture, because it’s boring, undyed sock yarn.) But that will have to happen after I knit socks from this fun yarn, spun in early September from unidentified wool (maybe a coarse-ish BFL? maybe Falkland? maybe a soft Corriedale?)

This summer I also spun 400ish yards of some lovely Polwarth/Tencel sock yarn for Ceri, which she calls her Ravenclaw yarn (because the House colours are bronze and blue, right, Ravenclaws? RIGHT??):

I spun that yarn as a fractal three-ply after I spun a first braid of the same colourway (it’s actually called ‘Dalek,’ from Southern Cross Fibre, and I am in love with it) and plied it with a ply of plum merino, which matched the colours but turned the whole thing plummier than I really wanted it to. I also did it to stretch the fibre further, thinking that I wouldn’t be able to get 400 yards from 100 g, but this summer has really confirmed that I can spin that no problem now, so I don’t need to try to stretch it with a bonus ply of something else. Now I have 744 yards of this purply Polwarth/Tencel, which may become a light shawl at some point.

So yes, lots of spinning has been happening. And it looks like more will happen this coming week! Last year I broke a mile; I’m aiming to do at least that this year as well.

TdF 2015: The First Week

The Tour de Fleece spinners have completed one full week of competition spinning! There have been so many inspiring photos in our team’s thread on Ravelry. I’ve had lots of time to spin, as we ended up having to stay in town and none of the anticipated work has landed in my inbox yet. Here’s what I’ve spun so far.

Just before the TdF began, I bought some stretchy cord (it’s glittery!) to test as drive band material. It took a bit of finicky adjusting on the Mazurka, but once I found the sweet spot, I love it. I put it on the Symphony for my third yarn in double drive, and I’m not as fond of it there; it’s noisy, for some reason.

This red heathered yarn (spun longdraw from a roving prep for a true woollen yarn) was my warmup as I tried spinning in double drive on the FrankenMazurka. Since I’ve been uncomfortable with double drive, I decided my first yarns would be spun that way on the wheel I’m less familiar with and therefore have fewer ingrained preferences about. I certainly have a much better understanding of it now! The red yarn is 58 yards of lovely, squooshy, two-ply Aran-weight yarn, from 35 g of fibre. (It’s from Upper Canada Village, actually; their roving is inexpensive, milled on site, and lovely to spin longdraw. I have a bunch of it in my stash.)

This is that lovely superwash Merino from Sweet Georgia Yarns, in the ‘Rustle’ colourway. It ended up being 183 yards of chain-plied DKish weight, which seemed short to me. Upon weighing the yarn I discovered that it was only 55 g, which was a relief; I’d thought it was 100.

This is what I’m currently working on; I’m spinning it on the Symphony. It’s a repeated rainbow sequence (reflected or palindromic, actually), but with pink instead of red. It was unidentified wool from a destash; I’ve since figured out it’s a longwool, possibly Teeswater or a Leicester. I’m spinning it as a single.

Today is a challenge day! These are tied to the challenging days in the actual Tour de France. Today the cyclists are facing a two-mile ride at a 7% incline; we set our own personal challenges as spinners. My idea for today was to give corespinning a serious go, but yesterday’s non-spinning life was such a challenge for me that I’m considering just finishing this longwool I’m currently spinning; I’m not sure I need anything that would stress me today. But in case I decide to try, I’m going to pop out to Michael’s as soon as it opens and pick up a base yarn for my first real attempt at corespinning. Also some superglue, because we are amassing a pile of broken figurines and toys that need to be addressed. (Frankly, the time out and away from the kids would be welcome, too. It was that kind of day yesterday.)

I have a lovely cup of tea, I caught Minerva playing with the new kitten this morning, and I finally found a physical copy of Elinor Frey’s new Berlin Sonatas CD yesterday in a local shop. I’m totally set to spin this morning.

The 2015 Tour de Fleece Draws Nigh!

Yes, the Tour de Fleece. Started by Star Athena in 2006, it runs concurrent with the Tour de France, except we use spinning wheels instead of bikes, and we end up with yarn instead of medals.

I’m co-captaining Team Clan Kromski this year with the steady, grounded, and organized FloofyMoose. Our team is awesome, and spins mostly on Kromski wheels. (Mostly, because some will be using spindles while they travel, and some will someday be Kromski owners but as of yet are not. We love them all.) I’ll be using my Symphony at home, and my FrankenMazurka while I visit my parents. (Sigh; there’s yet another post that hasn’t been written, detailing the conversion of my prototype Mazurka to accept the modern Kromski flyer and bobbins. Someday.)

While Spinzilla is all about achieving the most yardage, the TdF is about personal challenges. You set them, you work toward them. Some teams have requirements or team goals — spin a certain weight or yardage, spin only existing stash, spin only fibre from a specific dyer, that sort of thing — but our team is no-stress. If you want to spin an insane number of of pounds (100 ounces is someone’s goal!) or staggering yardage (five miles, yikes — also a real goal), I will wholeheartedly support you and cheer you on. If you just want to spin for fifteen minutes a day, then I am there for you, because it sounds easy but it isn’t necessarily.

Last year I spun four ounces of Merino/silk I dyed pewter and silver, inserting pretty crystal-tone beads for a two-ply beaded lace yarn; finished the last half of a Daybreak Dyeworks merino/silk blend in the ‘Maid in Bedlam’ colourway; spun deliciously soft alpaca from my friend Jenn’s alpaca farm; and sampled some undyed wool/flax blend on a spindle.

And the year before that, I spun some lovely green sock yarn; challenged myself to spin a bulky single, which I then plied with some silk hankies I’d dyed myself in peacock colours; spun half of a set of pretty blue and brown batts into singles for a shawl; and spun a bunch of Mum’s luxury silk/cashmere/merino yarn.

As usual, these days I am caught up in work and travel plans and ZOMG CONCERT, so as always I will wake up on 2 July, blinking, and suddenly remember camp, birthdays, TdF, and all the other stuff I’ve been ignoring until after the insanity of June is past. I went on a gleeful fibre-acquisition romp this past spring (having money is very nice, and treating myself to some fibre every couple of paycheques did a lot for my morale), and so my stash is much larger than it was. I think I may just casually open the wooden chest and select something pretty when I’ve finished a yarn this time.

I do know that I am beginning with this braid. It’s superwash Merino from Sweet Georgia Yarns. I’ve never spun anything from Sweet Georgia Yarns before, and I hear such marvellous things about them. (I also see marvellous things made by them while watching Felicia Lo’s Craftsy class on Spinning Dyed Fibres; an excellent set of lessons.) This is super soft, and I’m just going to spin it — nothing fancy, nothing ambitious. I’m just going to enjoy it.

After that… who knows? Maybe some lovely Southern Cross Fibre, as I now have a handful of those braids in the chest, and I have been head over heels for the two SCF Polwarth/Tencel braids I have just spun. Maybe some of the very bright braids I picked up from a destash for the sole reason that they were all (well, mostly) out of my colour comfort zone.

Whatever I choose to spin, I’ll be doing it in the virtual company of excellent spinners of Team Clan Kromski!

Oh Look, It’s the End of February

And really, March 1 cannot come too soon.

I don’t have the energy for full paragraphs. Let’s do a point-form post.

My first two weeks on the video game project are done. So far I am enjoying it.

In my off time I handled my first project of the new year for the publisher. It was a Star Wars book. Yet again my geeky hoard of trivia proves useful! (Here’s a tip for you: The term ‘Jedi’ is a singular plural. One Jedi, two Jedi, many Jedi. Never Jedis. Never. LOOK, I CAN BE GEEKY ON MULTIPLE LEVELS HERE! AND PEOPLE PAY ME FOR IT!)

I started my free month-long trial of subscribing to Scribd for e-books and audiobooks. All things Agatha Christie have been converging in my life, and I decided to subscribe to an audiobook service so I could listen to her books while I spin or knit, but I find Audible very expensive for what it is. Scribd is $8.99 a month and offers unlimited access to a tonne of audiobooks, and e-books, too, so I went that route. (Bonus, I discovered: comics and graphic novels. Awesome.)

I am knitting a hat for a swap, and I am arguing with it. I have already ripped it back twice, and I suspect I will do it again. I just don’t know if I will try the pattern a third time, or give up on the decorative stitch part and simply knit it straight, then add a little something to it afterward. That kind of feels like cheating or giving up, but it may save my sanity. Ceri pointed out that the pattern isn’t hard but it’s tricky, which can be just as frustrating in a different way, and she has a point. Add that to the fact that I can’t knit anything more complicated than basic stockinette or garter in a room where there are other people, and there is a problem. It doesn’t help that the deadline for mailing is in one week. I could have been done by now if I hadn’t decided I really wanted to spin the yarn for this project. (But I did, and it’s terribly nice to knit with, I must say.)

I’ve started spinning more yarn for Mum’s beautiful silk/cashmere/Merino wrap. She’s getting close to the end of the stuff I made for her in 2013, and it’s not long enough, even taking into account the length blocking will add. I am so glad I took good notes about how I made the initial yarn.

One month till the chamber orchestra’s spring concert. That’s… soon. (Saturday 21 March, 7:30 PM at Valois United church. Mark your calendars. It’s a lovely programme.)

Yeah, Owlet’s post is late. That’s par for the course these days.

We had a lovely little Valentine’s Day tea party for our goddaughters, and it was so much fun. We finally got to use the half-size china teacups I bought Owlet for her first birthday for the kids. There were several courses of delicious tea-type foodstuffs, excellent company, and it was just a lovely day all around.

I got a new fountain pen; a Noodler’s Ahab in the colour Ahab’s Pearl. It’s a flex nib, and I’ve been really wanting to try a flex nib. It’s got a thick barrel, like my Waterman Kultur. I would have preferred a Konrad or a Nib Creaper, both of which are slimmer, but WonderPens.ca didn’t have them in stock at the time and I had really promised myself a new pen when the big cheque for the math book came in. I inked it with J Herbin’s Vert Empire, and I am smitten. I am also wholly smitten by the converter it came with, and the converters I ordered for my Waterman and Parker pens. I put some Diamine Damson in my extra-fine Sheaffer pen, and it writes so much more smoothly than it did when inked with the Noodler’s #41 Brown. I think the Diamines may be lubricated; I’m not entirely certain.

Okay, that’s enough. Back to work.

How Is It December?

This year has flashed by. I’m not panicking about it, just feeling slightly sad. Owlet’s post for last month is still in draft form, and her next one is due tomorrow (ah ha ha, that’s not going to happen). For all the time I’m spending at the computer, not much of it has been writing in any form.

I’ve been tangled in horrible paycheque luck these past three months. The most recent snafu is that accounting has recently discovered that no, Canadians can not in fact be paid via direct deposit, which is a complete contradiction to what they said when I checked with them in early October. The direct deposit option was being promoted as a quicker way to be paid, and after the really, really, really late payment earlier this fall, it had sounded like a good idea. Everyone is horrified and apologetic, and I’m waiting to be paid. The accounting department is swamped because two of their full-time employees retired this summer, and the new employees are making mistakes and working more slowly. There’s not much I can do except wait. Which is stressful on its own, of course, because not only can I no longer schedule an expected payment date into my agenda and work out a household budget with any confidence as I used to (it used to be four and a half weeks from the Friday of the week my invoice was sent through, like clockwork), but I can’t even expect the payment process to be flawless (other than slow). I’m sure it will get better… eventually.

I’ve been prebooked to copyedit another book on math, which is great; not only do I already have a stylesheet for the other book in the series, but my December work schedule is taken care of. I’m also slowly working through a private editing project of picture books, which is fun but challenging on how to schedule it into my other work, as well as how to think about it/approach it and put my thoughts down on paper for the author.

I recently applied for a copyediting position with a quarterly magazine incredibly relevant to my interests. The editing sample they asked for consisted of working over a five-page article, which took me a day and a half because it needed a lot more work than the example they’d provided as a guideline, and I was constantly referring to the house stylesheet and making decisions in a bit of a murky situation. However, a zillion other people also applied (many non-professionals as well as professionals). Yesterday they announced the position had been filled (by a professional), and that they’d been spoiled for choice with a lot of perfect people, but they could only choose one. I am moving forward, disappointed but not devastated, assuming I am one of the perfect people who didn’t get hired. It would have been more lucrative than my ongoing freelance job with the publisher, and the work would have come at four predictable, reliable times per year, so I could have organized my schedule around them. But it wasn’t to be.

Our fall concert went well last Saturday. We brought Owlet, and it was her first non-Canada Day concert. As always, I wish I’d done better, and hoped the people sitting closest to me weren’t hearing the sludgy mess I made of quick finger-twisting bits. Our next concert is in March and we’ll be doing Beethoven’s seventh, which is very exciting for the celli and bass. Up next for me is our Christmas studio recital, which is a bit later than usual this year, on December 21. I’m working on a transcription of Wagner’s “Song to the Evening Star” from Tannhäuser which is asking a lot of me in the letting-go department.

The furnace went on the fritz a couple of weeks ago, necessitating repair. We had the money, but it meant that the optometrist appointment and new glasses I was planning on didn’t happen, and isn’t going to for a while. (See above re. unreliable payment schedule.)

I think that’s about it. Knitting is at a standstill, because the shawl I’m working on is now at the 400+ stitches per row point, and there is always something else that has to be done instead of knitting a row. I’ve spun a couple of yarns, but I’ll save those for another post.