Daily Archives: January 17, 2011

Catching Up

There’s family-related health stuff going on that isn’t for public discussion, much of it stress-inducing, so I’ve been kind of quiet.

Still no call from the luthier about the mini cellos. I’m hoping we hear from them this Thursday or Friday so the boy can go to his first lesson this Saturday. If not, then hopefully they’ll call next week and we’ll get it in time for a lesson on the following Saturday, then the group class on Sunday.

I handed in the edits on the repurposing project. The editor said very nice things to me, which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside after struggling with the project; she apologised, too, because she hadn’t known I wasn’t the original author till after she’d done the edit. All’s well that ends well. I accepted a new copyedit project, too, due at the end of the month. Because you know, what I really need is something else to take up my work time when I’m trying to get half of the first draft of the bird book down for a review in mid-February. Actually, the way I seem to work these days is doing editing in the morning, then research and writing in the afternoon; it allows my brain to shift gears and I’m more productive.

Oh, right; I’ve contracted to write another book, this one on the symbolism and folklore associated with birds. It’s due at the beginning of May. I have no idea when it will be released. There, now you know everything I know. I’ll do a formal pro announcement when things are less nebulous. I have half a dozen secondhand research books coming my way from the US and the UK, all ordered about ten days ago. The only one to get here so far? The one from the UK, on last Thursday.

I got the biggest cheque of the four I was expecting last week, which was a terrific lovely surprise. I paid lots of bills and put a chunk on my Visa, and today I treated myself to ordering my new Saxony spinning wheel, which was the plan all along when this particular cheque landed (whenever that would be). I initially tried to order it from the wonderful and incredibly helpful London-Wul in NB last Friday, but the proprietor called me back, quite distressed, because the distributor wouldn’t let her order it in. She directed me to Gemini Fibres instead, and I called them this morning after lots of wibbling because I am phone-phobic. They were absolutely lovely, however, and I’m all set with them now. They don’t keep the unfinished Kromski Symphony in stock (yes, it amuses the musician in me that my wheel is called the Symphony, and I have ordered the unfinished version) so they need to order one in then ship it to me. I’m guessing that ought to take about three weeks. That’s probably a good thing, since I need to focus on work right now. We’ll finish it ourselves with a walnut stain and a nice satin wax. I ordered the extra slow and fast whorls, too, which will give me a full ratio range of 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 25 to 1 with the 24″ diameter wheel. (Just for comparison, my Louet S15 does 5.5, 7.5 and 10.5 to 1, with a wheel diameter of 20″; I have a high-speed bobbin that gives me ratios of 6.5, 9.5 and 15 to 1, but I wanted something more efficient overall.) A couple of people have asked if I intend to sell the Louet, and no, I don’t; it spins thick lofty yarns very well, and plies quite efficiently. I can also toss it in the car, which I can’t do with the Symphony. It’s also a single treadle, whereas the Symphony is a double treadle wheel, so if I ever have temporary knee or hip issues the Louet is good to have as a backup. I think the Louet will reside in the family room downstairs so I can spin down there.

I, um, may also have bought two spindles through Ravelry destashes last week. I claim brainwashing by the SpinDoctor discussion group on Ravelry. I am hoping these change my opinion of spindling. The entry-level machine-made spindle I’ve got weighs 1.75 oz, and is a bit clunky; these are much higher quality, handmade, and weigh just under and over 1 oz respectively. I’ve got a Spinner’s Lair reclaimed black walnut and maple spindle at 0.88 oz coming to me, and an inlaid Kundert inlaid oak, English walnut, and black walnut spindle at 1.2 oz, too. I knew I needed a good spindle when I went mildly crazy over the Christmas holiday without spinning equipment at my parents’ house. (The alternative was investing in a real travel wheel, like the adorable upcoming Schacht Sidekick, but it’s probably going to cost more than my new Saxony wheel did, so that’s not in the cards. Two handmade spindles costing a total of $50 is much less expensive!)

I got to see the video of my piece at December’s cello recital at last week’s lesson, which was interesting. My physical technique looked really good, which was reassuring. We’re now working on making my RH fingers longer, as I tend to have a very flat hand from the wrist through base finger joints when I bow. I need to arch the unit more. I came home with a pile of work: the Bazelaire suite, some last review of my final piece from Mooney’s Position Pieces book 1, starting book 2 with Pattern 1 in fifth position (playing this totally messed with my perception of every key I played in afterward, as it goes from Bb+/Eb+/Ab+/Db+ because it’s the same finger pattern on each string), and carrying forward with Suzuki book 3 and the Bach C major Minuet revisited with the new bonus middle section in C minor. We’ll be getting new cello ensemble music the the group lesson at the end of the month, too. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with this and orchestra, too, but I now my teacher’s assigning it all for specific reasons, most of it inter-supportive. She put a Stringvision grip on my bow, too, and it makes the frog just grippy enough that I don’t feel like it’s about to slide out of my hand when I relax my grip to lengthen the fingers.

Missed Capricornucopia on Saturday due to fibro dragging me down and HRH recovering from whatever threw his back out. By all accounts it was brilliant, and I’m sorry we weren’t there. Highlights of the family weekend otherwise included sorting eighty percent of the Lego in the house by colour, warping the loom with yarn for two secret swap projects and then having to figure out how to work around the oversight that one project was almost twice as long as the other (lashing a second shorter apron rod to the first to tie on for the shorter warp, and using fingers to beat the weft on the longer one for the first while), dinner with HRH’s parents, and the second episode of Downton Abbey on PBS last night.

Right. Off to punch the first rise of bread down, switch the last load of laundry, and get going with putting more words in the bird book. Or possibly doing the first eighth for the copyediting job. No, definitely the bird book.