Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting for Sleep

Here I am watching cop movies on Netflix, carding mohair, and waiting to be smacked upside the head by the sleep train.  You see, it goes like this....

It started two weeks ago with a bug bite.  Then the bug bite got infected (or so I thought).  Then the infected bug bite turned out to really be a symptom of Lyme disease.  Then I started on Doxycycline, the antibiotic of choice for Lyme disease.  Then, I got hives.  Red, itchy, spreading hives.  Did I say itchy?  I meant ITCHY.  All over.

So back to the doc, who doesn't want to take me off the Doxycycline because it really is the best thing for Lyme.  Then came Benadryl, and shortly after Benadryl comes Must. Sleep. So, I'm isolating myself even more than usual, which is too easy for me, and trying not to scratch.

So where does the mohair come in, you ask?

I want to make this Swedish Heartwarmer Shawl.  I've been lusting after it for over a year now.  It doesn't matter that I can't remember how to knit, or that I have no idea how to knit with different colors, or that I'm going to MAKE the yarn instead of buy it.  None of that matters.  I'm going to make this beautiful thing.

I'm going to make it 50% merino, 25% mohair and 25% tussah silk.  I've got the merino and the silk fiber already, but here's what the mohair looks like:  I traded a friend for it 2 years ago.  Her angora goats are all grown up now, but they were babies when this stuff was cut.  So soft!

I figure I'll need about 2 pounds of yarn.  So, roughly, the steps are: card the mohair, card all three fibers together, split it up into about 10 different chunks, dye each chunk a different color, mix colors back together in a pleasing way and spin 4 different yarn colors.  I think I'll need 500-600 yards of each color.  The yarn they used is 4-ply, but I don't think I can do 4-ply.  In fact, I've never done 3-ply.  If I'm feeling adventurous, I'll try 3-ply, but if not, I'll stick with the good ole 2-ply that I already know how to do.

This is totally a time vs money tradeoff.  This time I'm going to choose time.  And enjoy every minute of the loong time it's going to take to make this.  Or not.  I could just buy the yarn for $200 and I almost did.  But that's not the point of this project.  The point of this project is not to run as fast as possible to the destination, but enjoy the journey a little more than I generally do.  A long journey this will be.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Know, It's Been A While

I can't explain it, except to say that I've lost the urge to blog.  I see things and think, "boy, that would be an interesting blog posting," but then lack the interest to turn the thought into an actual post.

We're in the height of hot, hot, humid summer, with highs in the high 80s and huge humidity.  This is only two weeks after we had high temperatures in the 40s and walked around bundled up. It's a shame, really, because I thoroughly enjoy those 50s, 60s, 70s and low 80s that we missed this year.  I'm getting a crash lesson in how to exist in my house when it's hot.  Hint: Find someplace cooler to sleep (my bed is on the side of the house that's hot at night).

I've kept my promise not to make any changes to the yard.  I'm thinking seriously of buying a few tomato plants from some store and plopping them somewhere, just to be able to taste fresh tomatoes this year.  I may regret this, but zucchini is on the wish list, too, and I've used up the last of last year's basil pesto, which froze really well.  I want basil.  Lots and lots of basil.  Last year I had about 12 plants, which was maybe too many for me to keep up with.

The slope past the walkway and to the left of the garage is a candidate.  I'm guessing that the former owner had stuff growing there, but have no idea what it might be.  There's nothing coming up now.

I'm looking longingly at the below area that's surrounded by driveway, currently halfway occupied by some evergreen bushy thing.  There are 4 tree stumps and a fair amount of unused space.  I wouldn't be irreparably damaging anything, I don't think, if I snuck a few plants in there.  I can also use pots, as suggested by commenters.  Eventually, I'd like to clear out the stumps, the brush, the driveway crossover, and make it all into a garden.  But not this year.  It's like the former owner was trying to pave as much as possible.

I'm watching, and attempting to identify the plants here and figure out what's a weed and what's a keeper.  Many plants are totally new to me, but one, at least, I recognize from the last place, garlic mustard.  It's everywhere, and it's a weed.  I pulled a bunch of it a few weeks ago, but this battle is just getting started.