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Avebury Wool & Cha-Chas

Phix's Curiosity: what sparks my interest

Watch this space to see what's sparked my interest this week.  A random grab bag of delights!

Cars. I'm realizing the car I have is ~15 years old. I'm not getting a new one, not yet, but realistically, considering car life spans, I'm starting to think about what's next in the eventuality that's approaching.  Here's my dilemma.  I would like to get a hybrid for all the reasons. Except. I also have a strong preference for standard/manual shift. So I go back and forth with myself.  Fuel efficiency. Ability to do compression/jump starts. Fuel efficiency. Getting to manually shift gears. I dunno. It will be interesting to see which entirely pragmatic (to me) reason wins out when the time comes. In the meantime, I'm going to continue driving my current little car.  

Medusa's Garden

When you need every one and everything around you to just stop.

Someone on Facebook posted an tweet from Sin’Baku Ceasar that says,
"My therapist taught me to interrupt my anxious thinking with thoughts like: “What if things work out” and “What if all my hard work pays off?” 

So I’m passing that on to you wherever you are, whatever you’re leaving, or whomever you’re becoming." 
I'm kind of in love with this idea right now. I have only a few hours of having pondered this, but I'm looking forward to seeing how this works. :)

Ariadne's Yarn: playing with threads

What I'm up to with fiber and possibly how mythology and stories all tie together.

So I've been working on this scarf.  It's now well over 200 stitches across which means *commitment* any time I sit down to do a row.  I need to count the stitches I'm at. I... sort of lost count and the stitches ended up way off from where they should have been, so I've spent the last couple evenings frogging back six (very long) rows.  Like you do.  I re-knit my first row last night, but now I need to recount the stitches.  Even just counting the stitches is a commitment! So much commitment, so little time!  I love how in this photo, one end of it seems to be escaping like a surly craft octopus.  

On the spinning front, a friend of mine went to the UK last summer and while she was there, gathered some wool from the fields in Avebury, near Stonehenge.  She wanted to know if I'd spin it and, yes, of course I'd love that!  So while we were in Portland last weekend, we got together, had fabulous tea at the tea caboose, and arranged for a wool handoff. 

To the right is the wool before being washed (and the bits of branches and grass I've picked out of the wool).  Before being washed, it ended up being just under an ounce of wool. I'm very curious to find out what came out in the wash too!  Depending on how much dirt and lanolin there is, it can end up being nearly half the weight.  I *think* I didn't lose a full half in weight but I'm only partway through the spin, so we'll see.

After picking the grass out, I washed it three or four times, plus a rinse - I was quite pleased with how it cleaned up.  I once bought a raw fleece, the whole thing, and it took me way longer to get it cleaned up... but then, there was a lot more of it too, so as a spinner I like says, "We're all on a journey here..." 😜 

You can sort of see how brown the water is in the wash corner of the image! Gross, but not as bad as I had feared. Lower left, after it was dried, then lower right is after I carded it.  The nature of this wool is that it's turning out to be a bit of a rustic spin. The condition of wool picked out of the heath is less than optimal.  There are more nebs (little short pieces) thanI had initially anticipated would still be in the wool after carding, so I'm picking them out as I spin since they cause funny little lumps.  It's like... lumpy gravy, honestly - everything is going along nice and smooth and then there's a little lump... Is to be expected.  

This time was the first time I took it from the brushes and instead of making a rolag (a rolled batt), I ran it all through a diz and made roving out of it! That was fun.  For my diz, I used a humble washer from the hardware junk drawer and tada! Lovely roving all set to go!  It's all spinning up quite nicely & I'm looking forward to seeing how it plies and what the final yarn will look like!  So stay tuned for pictures of that next time maybe! 

Mythic Librarian: the art of arranging a life 

Thoughts on ontology and ways to organize a life.

Arranging a life... I find that when my anxiety spins up, I get caught in a bit of a catch-22.  As my anxiety spins up, I spend more time focusing on work, as I spend more time focusing on work, it spins my anxiety up further, and then it all sort of winds around itself and climbs into not great headspace.  These last couple of weeks, I've been too late at work. In some ways, it is nice to get the quiet time to focus after everyone has left, and on the other hand, leaving work later than 8 is... not who I aspire to be as a person anymore.  

I have always sort of done this, and am learning that acknowledging both parts and then working to find & deal with the underlying source of the anxiety is about the only way that works to resolve things. I'm part way there.  Some of the uncertainty that's causing my anxiety right now is, I think, mostly out of my hands - I can do what I can but ultimately que sera sera. 

That's not a comfortable place to be, but it seems like so much of life is hurry up and wait, work really hard and hope it pays off... all things will resolve themselves in time.  In the meantime, one small step in the right direction at a time will take one miles.  And like they say, one step forward and two steps back is a cha-cha...

With love, and structure, and organization, and curiosity - may Ariadne's ball of yarn guide you through the labyrinth safely until next time!


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