Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Long Rambling Post with Knitting Content

The last couple of weeks have been an adventure. It's still a busy time at school--I am never sure what students will be present in class from one day to the next because of the number of extracurricular activities. I like to plan ahead and maintain continuity, so this is a time of year that I find very difficult. Of course, I feel that I am the grouchiest person in the world because I have to be to keep the seniors on track.
The weather has been unpredictable except for the fact that we are still predictably dry. This week alone we've gone from almost freezing to the 80s. I think we're due for another round of almost freezing before the weekend. Last week, a section of the neighbor's concrete block fence blew down. Ours stood, but the wind overturned a large wooden swing in the backyard without moving any of my grandson's much lighter weight toys.
Also last week, my DS and DDIL both got a really bad stomach virus on the same day. That meant I got to keep the DGD and DGS for a day and an afternoon after school. As far as I was concerned, that was a treat that I don't get frequently enough. The parents got better, but DGS and I got a mild case, so I missed a couple of days of school and didn't feel like knitting.

However, I do have a couple of things to show. First of all, I took some pretty weather coffee-with-DH-in-the-yard-after-work days to card some of the fleece I washed last fall. It is Rambouillet. The first batch, which I did with Ashford student carders following some directions from the Internet, came out with lots of neps. I did spin the rolags, but I am not pleased with the singles. I experimented with plying, and they are so neppy that the bumps catch on each other. I was really frustrated when I remembered that I had bought the Ashford Book of Carding a few months ago. I actually read the directions and studied the pictures. Then I read on a forum that Rambouillet would develop neps when carded too much. This is the result of following the directions in the book:

I have not yet spun any of the fiber, but I think it will work just fine. I hope so because I still have most of this fleece to wash and card. I do have a drum carder, but I thought I had better try it this way first.
I also have finished the front of the Heartbeat Sweater. This picture is simply awful because it doesn't show the texture of the pattern. It does, however, document my progress.

I also had a birthday last weekend. The celebration was nifty--I attended my DGDs 5th birthday party! We had cake:

It was a Veggie Tales Pirate party, and I can attest that swordfighting with balloon swords and watching little ones hunt treasure in a tunnel room is great fun! We went out for lunch after the party to a restaurant in Amarillo called Abuelo's. It's in a strip mall, on an outside corner. The lot near the entrance was full, which meant that I had to park down one side or the other. I started to park on one side of the building and realized that I would be parking in front of the Social Security office. For some reason, I felt old enough without doing that, so I parked toward the end of the other "wing." As I locked my car, I happened to look and find out that I was parked in front of the Texas Bureau for the Aged. I think there's irony in there somewhere.
I also got treasure--my DD's family gave me some tomato plants and a gift card for a new outfit. My DS's family gave me this great basket for keeping my by-the-chair knitting projects under control. It's really big, so that means I need to start more, right?

My DH gave me the neatest gift, but the picture of it will need to wait a couple of days until I have some help.


LizzieK8 said...

Happy Belated Birthday and many happy returns of the day!

Glad to see you're around again! I've missed you.

We had the flu thing, too. It seems the younger they are the harder to recover.

Knittinreed said...

Happy Belated! Sound like a wonderful time - your DGD's cake is adorable. I know what you mean about keeping the seniors on track - we have 2 more weeks at the U and trying to get the kids to realize their finals are sooner than they think.

I hope all are in the pink of health again.