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School’s Out!

First things first: congratulations to the manchild for successfully completing 4th grade.

Here he can be seen on the penultimate day of elementary school (because next year is middle school, and marching band, and stuff of that ilk), modeling his new poncho (his grandma was in Peru last month and we all got new ponchos, and I’ll post about those another time). And dudes, check out that rain behind him! In this photo, it’s actually calmed down quite a bit, but we literally got about an inch of rain in 10 minutes when it started. Look at the back yard!

Sheesh. It was a stunning storm, though, just beautiful.

Next things next: I didn’t tell you guys, but I’ve been having a blog milestone contest. I decided whoever left the 2000th comment was going to get a Something. Well, that comment was left last night… by Hope! So, Hope, I think I have your address somewhere, and I’m going to pick you out a Something. Thanks for being here all this time.

More next things more: pictures of some stuff. Yarn is involved.

Ages and ages ago, Amy swapped me some fiber. I have NO clue what I sent to her at this point, only that I got the better end of the deal:

Well, this one got spun right away:

Now, Denny wants to know if I want this yarn. I think she’d like it. I’ve told her that IF she learns to get pictures off her digital camera and on to Teh Intarwebz, then we’ll talk. She should totally be able to do that; it’s definitely not harder than seaming a sweater, and I know for a fact Rachel H. offered to help her. Perhaps the lure of hoarded yarn from my personal stash will suffice.

EDITED TO ADD: Ah yes — and these were mohair/silk batts that Amy made. “Rocky Mountain High” is the multicoloured braid of merino/silk.

But speaking of personal stash, that’s where I put this, hoarding it.

And that’s the “Rocky Mountain High” merino/silk I hoarded. Which is now this:

1006 yards of that, to be precise. Mmmmmmmmm. Oh yeah. The only down side is now the fiber is gone. But, since Amy and I are definitely in cahoots in the fiber enabling game, well, it’s not like I can’t beg her for more fiber. In fact, not only can I, but I have. And then yesterday I got a shipping notice. I wonder what she sent? I can’t wait to find out.

See? No matter how hard-core a girl may get about her fiber obsessions, she never gets over the whole “Ooooh a package!” excitement. No, you could be hauling 10 kilos of silk out of a shipping box, thinking about what’s coming soon.

I do have some other photos though.

These are some samples. From left: Soy silk, Seacell, and cotton/silk, all from Louet North America, with the first two being from the Southwest Trading Company lineup. I have a few more samples on my to-spin list from these fibers, and eventual commentary as well. And I have to get my samples done this week, because I’ll be taking them to TNNA next weekend. I’ll be hanging with my friends the Louet folks, and spending more time talking about these fibers and others, and wheels and whatnot, so if you’ll be there, stop by and say hello!

This is one of the “and others.” The sad thing is, there’s no way I can make a photo explain what I like so much about this fiber. Basically, it’s just — hahaha, “just” — a really nice Merino, about 20 micron I believe, in a really luscious commercial top, that’s certified organic, which means that folks who’ve avoided Merino out of concerns about industrial farming practices now have a commercial Merino top available (this, too, is a Louet fiber, so you should be able to get it from dealers, as well as right from them). As for me, even though I am not a person who has avoided Merino, well, I have to say this is the nicest general purpose Merino top I’ve had. Before you ask, I’ll come right out and say that this isn’t as incredible as Peace of Yarn’s 15 micron Merino top, but this also isn’t over $100 a pound! It’s just “normal Merino prices,” and it’s going to be my top pick for general-purpose Merino from here on out.

Anyway, the skein above is this wispy, floaty laceweight skein that has to be fondled to be fully appreciated. There’s a sweater skein and a springy sock skein too, and I’m going to take those to TNNA, along with others…

Allright, so you all know it’s a really rare thing for me to really LIKE a synthetic fiber, right? Well, okay: I really like this one. It’s the “Black Diamond” carbonized bamboo. It’s…. velvety lustrous. And really interesting. And I like the colour, though it reminds me of Peruvian public school uniforms when I was a kid. This carbonized bamboo is not slippery shiny like the non-carbonized variant. It’s a neat fiber. I will be stashing some of this and keeping it on hand — again, something I don’t often say about a synthetic.

Allright, and one more thing: speaking of my personal stash yet again (we do seem to keep coming back to that), I have dug deep into it for a good cause. I’ll post about it separately, but in brief, I’ve sent Amy a box of handspun yarns from my personal stash, to auction to help Symeon, aka Pippikneesocks, who has a hard row to hoe right now. Check out the incredibly fabulous things Amy is auctioning to help Symeon out! There’s some truly incredible stuff there, and soon there’ll also be some of my personal stash — I love Symeon and really hope we can help her out a little. Amy’s current auctions are here, go check ’em out.

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Did You Know You Can Fix Slubs While Plying?

Have you ever spun a yarn with mild slubs or a few neps in it? Sure, we all have. Generally speaking, most folks tend to say that if you don’t want those in your yarn, make sure they don’t go in while you’re spinning your singles. And that’s fine! That definitely makes sure they aren’t there. But on the other hand, sometimes I’m spinning with a technique that doesn’t lend itself to stopping to pick out a minor problem, or where if I try to correct it during spinning of the singles, will compromise other yarn attributes I’m going for.

Plus, sometimes I’m just lazy.

The slubby, neppy spot you see above is one that I ignored while spinning long draw. Several dozen of these occurred, which isn’t uncharacteristic for spinning long draw — and I don’t like to micromanage my long draw singles because that causes them to become compressed, losing the loft and airiness that is my chief reason for choosing long draw most of the time.

Now, if I left it just as it is, a rough finishing would minimize it. But what if I want it GONE?

I ply the yarn, but don’t allow it to wind on when I encounter the slub. Holding the yarn taut, I pinch with thumbnail and fingertip, and grab the meaty middle part of the neppy slub. I pull this away from the yarn. See it coming loose?

It just comes right off — nep, excess fiber in the slub, just peeling right away, and the yarn is staying intact. In this case, since the singles are fresh, the twist in them will equalize almost immediately — it’s just like if you’d corrected the slub while you were spinning, only with a little more support in the yarn because you’re plying it.

After this has been skeined and washed, you will never be able to find this spot. Here’s a before and after, right close together, during the plying process.

And here’s the plied bobbin:

…and the finished skein.

Because it was spun long draw and then plied very firmly, and because there’s crimpy wool in there, this skein has a fair bit of elasticity. I would have lost that elasticity in places if I’d stopped to micromanage the singles (even though that is my instinct). This is still a diverse-fibered, textural skein to a degree, but it isn’t lumpy, and it took a lot less time to spin and ply than if I’d been really really nitpicky while drafting the singles.

I really enjoyed spinning this! When you get diverse fibers in a blend, and the blend is really well done, you can do a lot of interesting things and it lets you bring a lot of different spinning styles and skills to the mix. But, it can be hard to get consistency and keep interesting elements in the yarn without losing structure or inclusions. If you have worsted spinning tendencies, and are a fan of micromanaging your singles, I have to say, trying to depart from that a bit is incredibly eye-opening. There are lots of yarns where you want slight imperfections, but yet to have a consistent yarn — tweeds are a great example. You don’t want your tweedy bits to just fall out. Then, too, the things you can learn by practicing a blend with inclusions extend to drafting skills you can use to get smooth, even yarn out of blends where fibers are really different from each other (like silk, which is long stapled, blended with cashmere, which is fluff, and if you simply spin it with old-school worsted draws, that’s when you run into the problem some folks mention about having all the silk pull out while the cashmere stays in your hand).

The absolutely delightful batts I spun for this yarn came from Enchanted Knoll Farms, and were a gift from Amy.

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Mumble mumble some yarn mumble a meme something mumble yarn!

I was memed by Jennifer of The Spirit Trail. So, today, I have that, plus some yarn. I’ll put most of the yarn at the end, forcing you to read through the meme to get to it. Such a dastardly ploy! I’d apologize, but… I’ve been totally insanely busy with production, the manchild down to 5 days of school left, and a bit of freelance work.

“The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.”

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

I was about a month into my first software development job after switching away from system administration on the grounds that pager duty didn’t go that wonderfully with “new baby,” since “new baby” is much like pager duty anyway, only more important, because someone’s life depends on it (whereas with pager duty, what depends on you solving this problem RIGHT NOW is usually someone’s ability to view porn, forward a chain letter, or print something they’re only going to throw away in an hour).

At the time, I had tons of hope for that job. I was telecommuting, my boss seemed incredible, my co-workers were all smart and focused people with a work ethic, and the work itself wasn’t that bad. I would work, baby at my side or in my lap, from dawn until late at night, often typing one-handed while holding the boy. I didn’t get more than 8 hours worth of work done most days — it just took that long to do what I felt needed to get done in an average day of work. I struggled to catch my balance, make it all fit together. I raged against the new mom ideals prevalent in white-collar Silicon Valley, and took some solace from the latina moms I could find at the parks the non-latinos were scared of… but sadly none of them lived nearby, and were instead all working as nannies.

By the start of the next year, we moved to a mostly latino blue-collar neighborhood where we lived the rest of our time in Silicon Valley. The job… well, that’s 8 years and the last half of a career that are over now, and while some of the lessons learned still sting (they may always) I don’t think there’s anything I could have done different about it that would have made it work out better for me. Ultimately it broke my spirit almost entirely, but provided the means to escape it in the end, and now it’s been two years. I don’t harbor any resentment. There may be lingering bile in places. Lots of people would have thought it was a great situation. That’s part of what made it all hard. It was, in some respects, but it was killing me.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

It’s Sunday. I’m trying to take it easy. But there’s an enormous mountain of laundry (when isn’t there?) There is work to be done in the yard and the kitchen needs cleaning. Well, okay, the whole house does, but the kitchen’s critical. There is “Post something to the blog, which hasn’t been possible lately due to freelance commitments,” (and speaking of freelance commitments, there’s work to do there as well) and I’d really like to finally finish the Foggy Foggy Dew shawl, which is just in the high-maintenance last few rows with tons of beads. I have a sock yarn half spun and two others I’d love to do soonish as well. How many things am I up to now? This is the problem with my to-do list, and this is a WEEKEND, so there’s basically no work in it.

And you wanna know what really sucks, and is on my list, and has to get done at some point, but I can’t commit to it on any given day… is that I have to go buy shorts. Fat shorts. They’re like fat pants, only they’re shorts. It’s clear I’m not going to lose my winter’s excessive weight gain by summer shorts weather… because it’s now shorts weather often and I haven’t lost it. This fills me with rage, as does anything that leads to pants shopping (which shorts shopping really is, even if they’re shorts instead of pants). I hate pants shopping almost as much as going to the dentist or getting a call from my kid’s school to notify me he’s in trouble. And dude, both of those things take less time than pants shopping, and they’re even usually cheaper. Clothes shopping at large is awful but I only ever do it if I need pants, so therefore, pants shopping is the evil one.

And for those of you on other sides of ponds and whatnot… by pants I mean trousers, and not knickers.

LATER: So, now it’s no longer Sunday (but, the manchild’s registered for summer camp and even synced up with his buddy so they’ll be in the same camps at the same time, he’s signed up to play trombone in band next year, I got a box of batts out to Beth, and the folks I’m freelancing for having killed me yet), and it’s Wednesday evening, I’ll tell you what remains on my list for Wednesday evening at 8PM: keep checking email, spin bobbin number 2 of some batts Amy sent me, have another beer, and possibly ply said yarn.

Oh… what batts would these be? They’re from Enchanted Knoll, and Amy said she thought I’d like them.

I do! I’m usually not a fan of sari silk, which these contain… but she does a nice job with these, and they spin beautifully, and I am finding the batts a compelling and relaxing spin.

I think it’s going to be a really neat 2-ply yarn. It’s always nice to discover a new producer of batts I like; it doesn’t happen often.

(See how I threw in some pictures there in the middle? Maybe that’ll keep you interested till you get to the yarn pictures at the end.)

3. Snacks I enjoy:

Well, the wasabi almonds, of course. I’m still not out from the supply everyone gave me in Michigan at the end of March. Such luxury!

Berries. I love berries.

Chocolate. Especially with nuts and fresh berries. All the more if it’s ice cream or mousse or something and there’s also whipped cream. So, fine, maybe that’s not exactly a snack.

Tortilla chips and fresh salsa.

Crackers and fancy cheese. And pate. Maybe with small cute bread instead of crackers.

Really good beef jerky.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

1. Build a hospital in Chinchero, Peru, which would be dedicated to my late friend Angelica, who died of typhoid when we were teenagers. That’s my oldest and longest standing “if I were a billionaire” resolution.

2. Fund something major for the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco… which in some respects, you know, is just as huge a thing as a hospital. Maybe huger.

3. Buy a historic building to turn into a studio, school, and maybe shop. Hire someone else to work the retail hours.

4. Endow a university to create a textile science program which in turn causes other universities to need them, and thus cause the world at large to finally respect (and seek to understand and preserve) textile technologies.

5. I want a balcony. It would go outside of my office and yarn room. I could walk out onto it, and it would be a great place for coffee in the morning and a beer once the sun’s over the yardarm. Note to self: install yardarm on balcony, plus sundial that reads “Beer o’clock.” Alternatively, the historic building that is my shop can have it, and it can overlook the street, and I can use it for a soapbox while masses of people gather to be swayed by my textile ethos. Totally. It could happen.

6. Take the amazing trips I’ve always wanted to take — Panama Canal, Trans-Siberian Railway, ocean liner to Europe, drive what’s left of Route 66, see Spain, that kind of thing.

7. Custom Corvette.

5. Places I have lived:

I made a list here, once:

Places I’ve Lived

To that, add southern Ohio.

6. Peeps I want to know more about:








Okay, right — so I promised you pictures of yarn, and pictures of yarn you shall have! Once again, huge thanks to Amy for sending me fiber and saving me from eating my own cooking all the time. It’s not that I don’t like my fibers, it’s just that, well, you know. Sometimes a girl needs some variety.

Amy actually sent me this fiber last year — like, possibly more than a year ago. Around when I picked up the Majacraft Saxonie, which I got at the Upper Valley Fiber Fest, so… ah, more than a year ago. I’ve been hoarding it, because I really liked it, a lot a lot a lot. Look at it again:

It’s merino/silk in “Rocky Mountain High.” And it turns out it was even more droolworthy than I thought it was. It was first up when I put the new treadle assembly on the Suzie Pro and by the time I’d spun a little, I realized I wished I was spinning it even finer. Except… then who knows if I’d ever get around to knitting anything with it. But still. I realized I was going to run out of it, and that was kinda traumatic. That’s why I’d been stashing it, you know?

And if the sun would just come out without high winds, then maybe someday I could take some good finished skein pictures. Here’s the tragic moment when I finished up the 1006 yards I got from this 4-ounce braid… and called Amy up all sad to plead for more fiber.

So, next… well, so there’s a story here. Amy sent me this, too — merino/mohair dyed by Adrian in a lovely series of greens and yellows with some gray and… man, so pretty, and so totally colours I’m weak for. And behind the scenes… well, you crazy sock knitters ALMOST HAD ME. This yarn is the proof.

You might not be able to tell from looking at those bobbins, but the singles are spun so the yarn will stripe neatly when plied. Also, if you happen to notice my Will Taylor lazy kate is missing a spoke, please don’t mention it. It has not been a good May for my equipment and I’m trying denial this time. Shush, Ellen. I can’t hear you.

See? Now that it’s getting plied, you can tell it’ll stripe.

Anyway, so the capacity of a Majacraft baby bobbin seems to be about exactly 4 ounces. Which, spun to this thickness? Is about the right yardage for someone to, say, fall prey to the exhortations of the sock knitting conspiracy, and knit a pair of socks.

But just when I got this yarn finished, I found out Juno, long my compatriot in Not Knitting Socks, was apparently faltering in her resolve. And then… and then it turns out she FELL OFF THE WAGON.

Therefore, despite this 510 yards of absolutely stellar sock yarn in a colourway I absolutely adore, I’m afraid I have to just regroup, and stay strong, and hold the line. Someone has to. And again I say, et tu, Juno? Et tu? Am I now the only one left?

Anyway. I showed you guys these yarns, right?

I swear I can’t remember if I did or not. No matter, though — they’re actually destined for a good cause, and I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow (no really, Thursday, I swear!)

Lastly, you wanna know what’s really twisted about the past week or so?

Just look at that. It’s way too small. Two of them don’t even make a short pint. It’s like a two-sip beer. What is the point of tiny beer? It’s just not right.

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Dear Chris

Dear Chris,

Once upon a time, I was absolutely positive that you were out to ruin my life. You wanted to make sure that I had no fun, and you wanted that because you hated me. Further, you had no respect for me or my capabilities as a human being, and you thought I was utterly stupid and incompetent, not to be trusted to perform simple tasks. You were also completely chicken and stodgy and never did anything spontaneous or cool. You wouldn’t have known a risk if it hit you in the face, because all you ever did was play it safe, so life could be completely boring and I could just never have any fun at all. That was all you wanted, I was sure of it: like I say, to ruin my life.

“When you grow up and have a kid of your own,” you used to say, with patience that seemed belaboured to me at the time, “then you’ll understand.”

You told me so; and I didn’t listen. You were right, and I’m sorry.

Furthermore, now that I’m a grownup and a mother, nothing seems more ridiculous to me than the notion that you were a stodgy old stick-in-the-mud out to keep me from having any fun just so nobody would ever take any chances. I mean, even our luxurious first-world lifestyle involved living in a house constantly under construction and thus filled with all the potential hazards of any construction site. I don’t know anybody else who went to first grade already able to tell stories like “When we went to La Paz, the train crashed, and then my mom said we should have taken the bus instead, but then we ran into a friend of ours who did take the bus and the bus blew up.” I don’t know how, after I wrote that long and detailed essay about almost drowning while rafting the Vilcanota at age fourteen, you found it in yourself to let me go again, and simply state mildly that YOU weren’t going this time, even if it was the milder part of the river.

In fact, it would seem that, now that the chips are down and I’m grown up with a kid of my own, I’m the stodgy stick-in-the-mud who doesn’t take any risks.

At times you have said that you wonder if you did right by me in one way or another — say, by dragging me along while you pursued the adventurous life of the field anthropologist, exposing me to things other people my age hadn’t seen — and hey, still haven’t now that I’m in my late thirties. Maybe, you have mused to me on occasion, it was all a mistake, and you should have kept us kids somewhere safe and ordinary. Or sent me to a different school (but let’s be honest, you sent me to everything but military school, so you really tried it all and there really was no hope).

Never think such a thing. No insufferably wild, precocious little girl could ever have had a better mother; and nobody who’s ever walked the earth is prouder of their mother than I am.

I owe it all to you. Thank you, Chris.

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The weekend’s email woes have wrapped up. Feel free to breathe a sigh of relief with me; at stake was rather a large amount of data making up almost 11 years of my life, and it is thankfully all resolved happily now. It all started out with “The power supply needs swapping out,” but then turned out to be far more extensive and require multiple excursions to the computer stuff store (which, since we no longer live in Silicon Valley, is noticeably more than 6 blocks away). So things took a while, and my better half truly saved the day. Me, I crammed a power supply in the dead box and found out it still didn’t work. He, on the other hand, shed the blood the computer gods always require in order to allow the happy resolution of problems like this turned out to be.

I, of course, spent the weekend kicking myself for not-current backups plus not having checked the integrity of the backups I did have in who knows how long. I thought about (and tried not to think about, then realized it would be wise to accept the possible reality of) losing things like photos of our son the day he was born, all the contact information I store in my inbox along with to-do lists, drafts of things in my home directory, and saved writings from before my last big data loss in 1997. I resolved to back up certain essential types of things to burnt CDs which I will then copy a dozen times and store in a complex distributed system involving safe deposit boxes, my mother, and do I know anybody in Europe that I could ask to store a pile of discs for me?

I spun a lot of sample and test yarn. I did some swatching. Some worked and some didn’t. I was crabby. I took deep breaths and walked away. I did the dishes and took out the trash. And I enjoyed that “Mole Poblano” blend.

But, as you can see, I had to step things up from just the beer.

When I took that picture, half-sprawled out on the deck with the camera, thinking “Why am I doing this instead of just drinking the margarita?” and pondering what an absurdity it sometimes is to be a blogger — I mean, seriously, “Let me just take this margarita and this yarn out on the deck where the light is good” — I was already thinking how, if things went poorly, I would probably be really glad I’d opted to get the good tequila, setting up the photo I’d have to take of limes, salt, and shotglasses with… what? A ball of yarn? A swatch? I was thinking how totally unseemly it would be for someone’s mom to be doing tequila shots of grief over a piece of computer hardware, but how I’d likely go there anyway if it came to it, and just have to pray I didn’t end up with one of those stories that wraps up with someone saying “It’s just that your pants are on inside out,” while you wake up on the lawn of a retirement community wearing only one shoe, a shoe which actually belongs to someone else and which you’ve never seen before.

Thankfully, things didn’t progress past “sprawled on the deck taking a picture of my drink with yarn wrapped around the bottom of the glass.” I’m sure that would have looked strange enough to most people, but you all understand, right? Right?


It’s really nice yarn, though. And the margarita wasn’t bad either.

Some mail may have bounced; other mail may still be deferred and working its way through an arcane series of queues to arrive at my inbox. If you haven’t heard back from me by this evening, please go ahead and resend your email!

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Email Outage 2 May 2008 – 3 May 2008

Maintenance for email service for will continue for approximately another 24 hours while parts are acquired. I’m very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause! In the meantime, if you need to contact me urgently, please drop a line to afranquemont at yahoo dot com. I expect we’ll have everything back to normal sometime Saturday, 3 May.

If you’ve sent me email in the past 24 hours or so, and not heard back, I may not have received it. I should receive it once everything is back to normal sometime Saturday. If it’s urgent, deadline-related, or anything like that, please do resend to the yahoo address.

Again, apologies. And mole for Amy and me. Mmmmm.

Mmmm. Mole. Bite me, computers, I’m having mole.

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It’s time for another cop-out entry. These happen when I have essentially nothing intelligent to say, and run around with the digital camera taking pictures.

The weather is crap. Seriously, it just can’t decide what to do. Right now, it’s somewhere around 70F, muggy, cloudy and gray, and looks like rain, but it’s not raining and I’m not sure it’s going to. Crap weather for photos. Grrrr.

I did do some spinning over the past couple of evenings, however. I’m way behind on my to-spin pile! It’s horrible! And I threw a rod on the hopped-up Camaro, er, I mean, after 8 zillion miles of yarn, I have to replace a part on my fastest wheel, so it’s waiting on parts. The horror. But as my better half put it, with almost a straight face, “The good news is, I think you have 9 other wheels.”

Which, well, is true. I removed this bobbin, in progress at the time…

…and, walking about 10 feet, grabbed another wheel with which it is totally compatible.

You gotta have the “totally compatible systems” thing going on, you see?

Now, okay, I did break a few cardinal rules I shouldn’t break, though. One, I didn’t have the parts on hand. I really should have. I’ve gotten lazy what with having, you know, 9 or 10 other wheel choices. But honestly, I should be ashamed, and I should know better. I have the new Julia up in my office doing some production sock yarn work, which is tying up all 8 or 9 of the Louet bobbins I presently have (so there’s another cardinal rule broken: never tie up all your bobbins entirely), I don’t like to use the Journey Wheel while sitting in the rocking recliner, the Roberta is just too loud at speed and not so great for laceweight, I think the folding Fricke is behind a few bumps of midgrade wools, this wasn’t a charkha project… good thing I had the Saxonie handy, right?


It’s 550 yards from 48 grams of merino/silk/yak/cashmere. Totally all mine, even if it is on the pink side. Penny will kick your butt if you try to run off with it. Just look at her — can’t you tell she’s totally an enforcer type cat?

Or perhaps you can tell this is the cop-out blog entry where I run around with the camera making it look like I did something.

But, anyway, I’ve done some other spinning too. Like, I did finish one of the sock yarns. This one is cabled and self-striping and stuff. It’s SWTC Karaoke and it’s really, really cool. I swatched a bit of leftover cable:

…and would need to do the socks on a smaller needle. Which is a bummer because this swatch was done on US 2 needles. Oy.

And if you’ve been reading this blog long, you’ll have realized by now that for totally mysterious reasons, I seem to do a lot of “lilac” at this time of year.

It’s merino/silk/cashmere tweed. I think Amy has some similar ones left for sale.

I almost opted to make it a singles. But, no.

It’ll look a lot nicer once the sun comes out and it’s all the way dry. With 196 yards here, this’ll be a scarf for me, I think.

Stupid lack of sun. Stupid muggy cloudy weather. Why am I even thinking about warm things? Right, because this is what I do.

Paimei is trapped behind a screen. He hates that. He’d love to be allowed outside, but he’s just too glaringly white and, well, let’s just say he got the looks and the personality but the brains? Not so much.

Then too, there’s this. It’s a problem tussah silk from last summer. I loved the colours, but didn’t trust the brown (and with reason — one other test project I did with silk dyed with that same brown had definite excess dye issues). So I set it aside to use on something for me. I have a project for it. If it can be done in time.

And if I don’t decide to use Daffodil here instead.

Crap! I’m so glad we just talked about that, because…

I totally threw the Daffodil silk singles into the sink to soak, and forgot about them. I’d better run, folks.

Oh, before I forget, there’s some maintenance work going on with my email today. Your mail to it, if you send any, will be deferred briefly during that maintenance. If you urgently need to mail me, use afranquemont at — just today, 2 May 2008. By this evening, things ought to be back to normal and I should have a nice backlog to sort. Perhaps I should plan for that with a beer run this afternoon, eh?