Weekend Roundup, Imbolc Edition

Yes, I missed last weekend’s roundup. I’ll do it eventually and backdate it [It’s done, here.] The most important bit was the spinning 102 class, and I have that in note form written to people who asked about it via e-mail.

This was a fun weekend, but draining. Friday I went out to lunch with MLG, where I had truly delicious braised lamb shanks and a pint of cider, and then as the weather was lovely, I walked him to class. It was a tutorial, actually, but wow did that feel odd; I’ve been out of school for a decade (my shiny new MA is no longer so very shiny or new) and the university neighbourhood has been polished and reworked, and two new metal and glass buildings have sprung up where there were once boarded-up lots.

(Many joke intros ran through my head on the way home. “So a cellist and a drummer walk into a pub…” was one of them. So was “So an EngLit MA and an MBA guy walk into a pub…”)

On the way home I stopped to deposit Emily’s second cheque (so close to the end of this project!) and pick up immediately necessary groceries, and I swung into Winners to do a quick look round because I could, and I so rarely do. While there I saw a pair of burgundy shoes on for half-price and wavered for a moment, but then told myself sternly that I shouldn’t even try them on and left.

Saturday morning we all went out on errands. While out we finally found an Anakin figure as well as an Ahsoka figure, and the boy was thrilled to finally have people to fly his starfighter. We also picked up a new Scrabble game, as ours has gone AWOL (most likely to people who love it and use it frequently), as the boy saw me playing an online Scrabble-clone game on the iTouch with Emily and various other people, and was frustrated because he couldn’t play. I promised that a real board would be easier to use, and it was. He loves it, and calls it Scramble, and we got about five rounds in before he decided he’d had enough.

Saturday afternoon Ceri called and asked if I wanted to go over and play, so I packed the spinning wheel, my Phat Fiber box to show her, and my cotton, and off I went when the boy went down for his nap. We had lots of fun, although spinning the cotton continues to elude me. I tried shredding it and spinning from a cloud and it sort of worked, but it keeps drifting apart. I’m trying to find the sweet spot between overspinning it and getting it to hold together, and it’s just not happening. I saw another video where a woman was long-draw drafting right from the unsplit roving; I think I’ll try working on that again, since the cloud doesn’t work, and the splitting roving to narrower pieces doesn’t quite work either.

I soothed my annoyed spirit by making my first foray into the Phat Fiber samples and spinning a quarter-ounce of lovely dyed Merino wool from Ambrosia and Bliss. It was my first experience with Merino, and I suddenly see why people like or hate it it so much. It’s very spongy, with lots of tiny crimp; quite unlike the smooth BFL and Corriedale I’ve been working with. It made a lovely chain-plied 20 wpi yarn:

Why, yes, 20 wpi is heavy laceweight/really light fingering weight, thank you for noticing. And for noticing that it’s chain-plied, too, which means there’s three strands in that plied yarn. You’re very kind. I draw ever closer to confidently spinning the gorgeous Lorna’s Laces fibre Ceri bought for me my spinning wheel when I got it. And while taking pictures of the yarn on the bobbin I accidentally discovered a setting on my camera that I dubbed Awesome Yarn Shot, which does excellent close-ups. It’s so much better than the so-called macro setting, which just gives big blurs. Both those pictures are taken with the Awesome Yarn Shot setting. Go on, click View Image to embiggen the picture of the skein and see how lovely the yarn is. That’s a standard-size business card with it. (Yes, there’s a bit of variation in the grist of the yarn but hey, it’s my first Merino.)

Sunday morning we headed over to the Preston-LeBlanc household for an Imbolc brunch. Things were a bit rocky because the boy woke up at 4:30 and decided to come snuggle with us, and I didn’t have the energy to march him back to his own bed. I should have, because he squirmed and kicked and played with cats and talked and made everyone tremendously grouchy, so when he said at 5:30 that he was hungry and wanted breakfast both HRH and I had had quite enough. HRH fed him a piece of bread with some juice, and told him to go back to bed. The deal was he could sleep with us if he slept on HRH’s side of the bed and not the middle, and lay very still so that he’d actually fall asleep. This happened, thank goodness, and we all got another hour of dozing in. Once up, I made a fabulous pesto-cheddar quiche with a homemade pie shell, and off we went. I also packed up the wrap I’ve been working on for my eldest goddaughter since, what, October?, having sewn the buttons on the night before. We were greeted with mimosas and happy people, and the morning was subsequently wonderful. Our plates were full of raspberries, blueberry scones with crumb topping, and bacon, and quiche, and it was all fabulous. We made Brigid’s crosses with pipe cleaners afterward, and then we gave my goddaughter her wrap. She loved it, and I wish I’d been less tired by that point so I could have made more of a fuss over her. The new batteries I’d put in the camera that morning turned out to be dead, so I took photos with their camera and will post them when they get to me.

When we got home we fed the boy and then we all napped. After the boy’s nap we went out to pick up the groceries we needed for the rest of the week, and thanks to the encouragement of fellow Twitterers I went back and tried those shoes on. They’re so incredibly comfortable, and both HRH and the boy approved, so I bought them. And finally, we went to the library, where I collected the new Tracy Chevalier book Remarkable Creatures and the latest 44 Scotland Street book by Alexander McCall Smith, The Unbearable Lightness of Scones. And I snagged the Clone Wars Visual Dictionary for the boy, which interests both HRH and I so much that we may have to own a copy of it.

The boy clamoured for Scrabble game before dinner, so all three of us installed ourselves at the kitchen table at his direction and we played a really solid game. The boy did lose interest again after five rounds, but he brought toys into the kitchen and played while HRH and I kept going, and we played his turn for him too.

It was, overall, a lovely weekend, although I was wiped by Sunday noon.

5 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup, Imbolc Edition

  1. Ceri

    That is some seriously amazing looking yarn. It looked very lovely as a single, and loses none of its charm as a laceweight.

    Look at the gorgeous thing you made! Aren’t you so proud of you?

  2. paze

    We enjoyed your visit so much, and Devon is still entralled with the wrap (as am I). (Between your wrap and Ceri’s books, both girls were treated very well this weekend in terms of gifts!)

    Big “D’oh!!” re. the photos, which I hadn’t realized you took on our camera until I read your post. And here I was waiting for you to post a photo, while all along we had them! I’ll have Jeff send ’em to you after work.

    (Glad you bought those shoes!)



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