Friday, November 20, 2009

Still on Earth...

...And this is really the only fiber(y) sort of thing I've accomplished in a few weeks.

It's my Angel Lace Shawl. I knit it with some merino/silk handspun I received in the Funky Junkies Handspun Swap. The yarn was perfect for this and I had very little left over (there was no way I would have been able to squeeze in another pattern repeat so I'm glad I didn't try). I did finish my pumpkin pie merino (585 yards!!) but it took me over two weeks to finish it and I still haven't photographed it.

The very same night that I finished this shawl, I got a phone call sometime after 10:00 pm from my grandmother, because her house was on fire.

I went, taking her a coat and a sleeping bag (this was a bad time for me to realize that we actually don't have any extra blankets in our house) and a few woolly things as well, and stood with her and my granddad as they waited outside -in the rain- for the fire department to get things under control. After about an hour, the fire was out and the firemen had started chopping out large chunks of wall, ceiling, paneling and anything else that might have been dangerous left inside.

The house didn't burn to the ground, but it's currently uninhabitable. Even though the attic and the very center of the house is where most of the damage and fire was, most of their possessions were destroyed by the smoke. I wouldn't have thought that smoke (on its own) could be so destructive, but it really permeates everything. Not like plain wood smoke at all.

I'm very grateful that my grandparents were still awake. As it turns out, even though there was smoke billowing out from the ceiling, their smoke detectors, complete with new (and tested-out) batteries did not go off!!

This knowledge is leading me to search for the best smoke detectors that I can find and to test the batteries very, very often. I hope that this post will remind anyone who may have let this little important bit of home maintenance slip for a while, to go check their smoke detectors and replace anything that may need to be replaced.

Since the fire, I've been trying to help my grandmother whenever I have time, as she and my granddad get settled in their new rental. I have so much sympathy for her. Going through something so stressful would be a challenge at any age, and at her age it's very, very difficult. To add to her stress, my granddad suffers from senility/memory loss and he keeps getting confused. About every twenty minutes he forgets why they're staying somewhere else. He doesn't remember the fire at all, even though he was there when it happened. It's extremely frustrating for my grandmother. I'm glad, though, that he still remembers who all of us are. If he didn't, I can't even imagine how much harder all of this would be.

So, that's where I've been and what I've been doing. I just hope that things settle down soon. Today was the first day I've had available to be alone in my own house, and to be doing what I choose. I chose to spend time with my dye-pots. I'm not having an update any time soon (sorry) but I'd had a few more special requests for rovings that still needed to be taken care of, so that's what I've been doing today. If you've made a request for something on Etsy, you should be hearing from me soon.

Wish me better luck with December.

Monday, November 2, 2009


After being sick all week, I'm glad that my weekend proved to be productive. I (once again) got all caught up on my laundry, I kept the house relatively clean and I manage to finish spinning my sw merino/alpaca from All Spun Up.

fingering weight
approx. 4.2oz and 525+ yards
chain plied

I love how this one turned out (though the amount of yardage I got was a shock -I'd been aiming for around 400). I'm not absolutely sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but I do have some ideas.

I also started spinning this. It's some solid-colored merino top (I suspect it's Ashland Bay) that I purchased from WC Mercantile on Etsy (I really enjoy shopping with them, btw. Super friendly with fast, excellent customer service). This color is called pumpkin pie and it seemed like the perfect color to spin in celebration of Halloween.

On Saturday, Paige was a fall fairy. I took her down town to go trick-or-treating and she had a blast. This year she made her biggest candy-haul yet. Here she is posing with her pumpkin, named "Jack."

Over all, I'd say we had a really good weekend, and although I did purchase my fiber for the All Spun Up SAL, I successfully fought temptation and purchased nothing else. I think I'm on a roll.