Fun With Friends – 12/5/2019

I belong to a spinning group that meets once a week during the day and has an offshoot (maybe the original group) that meets once a month at night. The group is called the Spunsters, nice play on a term. We are mostly gals, but not entirely. The daytime group are mostly retired women, but a few that still work outside the home that come when their job allows. This group is very generous with their knowledge and often their equipment as well. I had recently taken up spinning with a drop spindle when I discovered them, then using the Community Room at the local library. Eventually, the library started preempting us, often at the last minute, so we relocated, finally landing at the Recreation Center. A couple of times each year, one member who has a lovely, large home that is centrally located holds a social event where we bring snacks, she furnishes beverages, and we have sale and free tables and at the holidays, we have a Dirty Santa exchange. The gift must be of fiber or fiber related theme. Last year the event was just after mid December and we had just had a snow and ice event a few days prior, so her driveway was a bit treacherous for some of the gals. She decided to try to beat the bad weather this year and we held the party today.

There are a lot of food allergies in my group of friends, and I often try to make something that is gluten free, dairy free, and nut free. This year I didn’t. I love shortbread, but didn’t want to make plain shortbread. I made the recipe, added Almond extract, topped it with a thin layer of melted Giradelli dark chocolate, and sprinkled crushed Heath Bars on top. I did put an allergy list on it, but still half of it was consumed.

Half the fun of the Dirty Santa game is to have folks that don’t just pick a wrapped gift from under the tree, but peruse the already opened gifts and select from one of them. Most of this group are reticent to do that, but a few of us will. One gal couldn’t stay for the entire Santa part so she didn’t participate in it, and as she was leaving, the hostess told everyone to wish her goodbye and quickly grabbed an opened gift. Lots of laughs and exaggerated perturbation over having their gift taken. Sometimes they go get a different wrapped item, sometimes they will take another open gift. There were lots of very nice gifts today, fiber, yarn, notions, and books. I took an opened gift and it was taken from me. I took another opened gift and came home with this.

I also came home with a fringe twister and a Mayan spinner that will be added to my spinning equipment that goes to teaching events. The fringe twister was the result of my asking for knowledge assistance as I spent hours untying knotted fringe on a shawl and hand twisting the fringe into a more finished twisted fringe. The Mayan spinner a gift to add to my demonstration tools.

On December 20, I will be a Colonial spinner for the 4th graders at a local elementary school as they conclude their unit on Colonial history. One of my Spunster friends is going to loan me a small loom and help me get it warped so that I can have it set up and demonstrate it that day too. It will be a fun day of demonstrating how labor intensive having clothing and household linens was in Colonial times.

I don’t get to this group weekly, but enjoy when I have the opportunity and appreciate the generosity of these spinners of their time, expertise, and loan of equipment.

Weekend Things – Nov. 16, 2019

November is birthday month in our family (we sneak into early December too). In a month’s time, we celebrate 2 grandchildren, 1 nephew, 1 daughter, 1 daughter-in-law, my stepmom’s and my birthdays. It is mostly card exchange as except for the two grandchildren, all are adults. Grandkids get gifts of some sort depending on age and interest.

If you have followed this blog for a while, you know that I am a spinner, knitter, sometimes crocheter, weaver. Because of this, I am a definite yarn snob. But, sometimes it is necessary to use yarn that I don’t spin for a project. Granddaughter local is one of the birthdays. She is turning 8 and has grown many inches and many pounds since last winter, she needed a new winter coat. Her Mom found a real bargain, a very neutral gray coat that granddaughter loved. To go with her new coat, and because she seems to love her handmade gifts (last year a string backpack for her music lesson items with a colorful binder to hold the music), I decided to make her a knit hat, scarf, and mittens to go with her new coat. Because they will get hard use and need to be washed, I bought a giant Caron Cake of acrylic yarn in shades of purple to make them.

I had finished the mittens, hat, and most of the scarf a week or so ago, but didn’t want to add fringe to the scarf and it didn’t look finished as is, so this afternoon, I crocheted a triangle on each end and added a small tassel, maybe less appealing to their 3 cats if it is left out. A year or so ago, I found the little wooden buttons that say Handmade with love by _____, so I added her pet name for me and sewed one on one end. Her birthday is next Sunday, so after we go to the farm where our turkey has been raised to pick it up, we will have a family celebration for her birthday.

Last night, I finished knitting a pair of fingerless mitts from some Romeldale CVM wool that I spun for the Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em challenge. They were given a soak and blocking last night and are currently drying. Here they are before their bath.

They will go in my shop and be taken to the various Holiday markets until they sell. I am toying with sewing a row of small deer antler buttons to the backs of the hands.

Saturday mornings, when I am not at an event, are breakfast out followed by the weekly Farmers Market. Today I was seeking yams for Thanksgiving as I didn’t grow any this year. Also seeking some ground beef to make dinner for daughter and her family tomorrow night, and other than that, I just browse and make decisions on what is available. I was able to get nice turnips, fresh spinach, Daikon radishes, potatoes, breakfast sausage, and Mozarella in addition to the yams and ground beef. As I finished the last of my fermented dilly beans last night, the Daikon radishes were purchased to make kimchi. Once home, they were peeled and diced, sprinkled with salt, sugar, and crushed red pepper and set to weep while I put everything else away and finished the scarf for granddaughter. It is now packed in a jar with a fermenting lid to sit for a few days.

Next weekend begins the holiday markets. There is still one scarf that is about half done that I would like to get finished and blocked, then I will begin a pair of fingerless mitts or glittens for me as I lost one two weekends ago when I did the Harvest Festival at Booker T. Washington National Monument. There is no real hurry on them and I can knit on them while I am vending.

Changes in Plans – Nov. 11, 2019

Sometimes plans change. My audiology appointment was at 8 a.m. and the new hearing aid is definitely a learning curve. My voice is an echo in my head. When I arrived at the office, the reflection of my car in the windows showed I had a headlight out, again. After my appointment in a very quiet office, standing by my car in front of AutoZone was a major assault on my hearing, almost causing me to remove the new aid until I was in a quieter place. I have made it all day without removing it, but have avoided noisy environments.

After lunch, we took advantage of the nice day to take an exercise walk. I could hear people behind me on the trail talking, hear the squirrels rustling in the leaves off the trail, and only bothered where the trail crosses a roadway via a footbridge with the cars below was I assaulted by too much background to continue conversation with hubby.

When we got home and I was going to go work in the garden to finish what I started yesterday, the farmer that hays our fields showed up with his big tractor and 10.5 foot brush hog to finish mowing our fields. I didn’t want to have to deal with the noise or the dust that would be the environment, so I postponed the garden until after the approaching Arctic Blast. We should awaken to light snow in the morning and temperatures falling into the low teens by tomorrow night. It may be next week before I can get out there with a hoe, a stack of old newspaper, more cardboard, and the bale of hay, but it isn’t going to grow now, so it can wait.

Sometimes the best of plans must change. Instead of garden, it has been a knitting, cooking, and reading day after a nice walk.

Another pair of fingerless mitts and a few more inches on the scarf, both for the Holiday Markets.