Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Grant!

51 years beautiful!
God bless you, my friend!

These two songs are from Grant's forthcoming album,
"The Argument."

I have no idea exactly when it's forthcoming,
but maybe within the year?

Fingers crossed...

And please, if you can, help kickstart Every Everything.
Grant's story needs to be told.
Every little bit helps reach the goal!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Finally! Please help if you can!

I just got word on this excellent project this morning, and if there was ever a time when I wished I could WIN BIG in the lottery, this is it. Not for the perks I could get for being a big contributor. I wouldn't care if the director didn't give me a single extra thing for my contribution. Having the project completed would be enough, which is not to say I am ungrateful for the perks I'm being offered for my contribution. Au contraire. I think it's awfully nice that he is offering perks to folks who make a donation, but...

To quote immortal first words ever uttered to me by Grant Hart, albeit in an entirely different context, "It's about f*cking time!"

Director Gorman Bechard's next project is to a be a documentary about the life and times of Grant Hart. And it's about f*cking time the story got told, in my not-so-humble-opinion. A link to the fund-raising site is posted at the end of this entry; at least have a look at the promotional trailer, and if it moves you to part with a few bucks, great! Every little bit will help.

Every Everything

Friday, March 9, 2012

"Fiber Friday" Eye Candy

So much working on the business this week, I didn't accomplish a real lot of knitting or spinning, but at least there are a couple of things to show for another week's passing.

This is "Canyon Sunset," obtained from Heavenly Fiber. I lost the card with the fiber content info, so am waiting to hear back from the seller. I'm pretty sure there's wool (or maybe alpaca?) and some silk, and a couple of colors of glitzy stuff. I loooooove sparkle, and look at all the PURPLE!!!! 2 ply, 1.9 oz, 172 yards, and I still have another equal-size batt to spin and ply!

ETA -- And the fiber content is...Merino, Blue Faced Leicester, milk fiber, faux cashmere, silk, and carbonized bamboo! Yummmmmm...
On the designing front, I wrote up a pattern for this little scarf yesterday, and now am test-knitting it. One, this will give me pictures of a finished item to use in my pattern leaflet. Two, the knitting of it will reveal, and enable me to correct, any and all mistakes I may have made in the writing. So far, so good. I think I have now caught them all.
The roving came from The Knotty Ewe. It's hand dyed Blue Faced Leicester wool. I spun it into a 2 ply yarn a few months ago, and I have a total of 305 yards to use in this project. I don't know what that will translate into, as far as total length of the scarf goes. However, I'm aiming to market the pattern as a "use up your handspun" project. Use any gauge yarn you like, and whatever needles match up with it, and the fabric you hope to produce, and off you go. Knit 'til you a) run out of your chosen yarn, or b) your scarf reaches the desired total length (bearing in mind, of course, that it will stretch and lengthen after washing).
The yarn is really soft and has a nice halo. This is the first time I have tried to use any of my handspun BFL yarns. Needless to say, I'm in love, and think there will be a lot more of this sort of yarn in my future.
Not much else to report, beyond that I now have a singing gig every other week at a local RC parish. I signed up to cantor Mass at 7:30 AM every other Sunday. Am I mad? Well, no. I'm a morning person, and I enjoy the meditative quality of that early Mass. I have not done any solo singing in public for years, and have only been singing alone in my room when no one is home. So, I'm a bit nervous, but also excited. I just hope I do OK and don't get overcome by last-minute stage fright.

Go figure. I used to perform a LOT, semi-professionally, and I sang in choirs in Providence and Boston with no fear at all. But too much negative input and petty jealousy and the tangled web of group politics left me feeling like there was nothing in the world I could do right, so bit by bit, I gave up the whole business. Something that should have been beautiful and uplifting quickly became exhausting and depressing. Enough was enough.

Part of me thinks I'm out of my mind for even thinking about doing this. But it has, after all, been nearly 10 years since The Great Praise Band Debacle/Crucifixion. I would like to think that the sense of security I've been lulled into is not false this time.

Excited-scared-excited-scared-excited...oh, help!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Serbian Spindle

I think it was just about a month ago, when I stumbled across a lady on Ravelry, who happens to live in Serbia, and happens to buy hand made spindles from the local purveyors of such things. She had a bunch on hand that she was hoping to sell, so I wrote to her and learned I could have one for a mere $5.00, plus $10.00 for shipping. Well! What a deal! So, I ordered one and, not knowing how long it might take for the spindle to arrive on my doorstep, I sort of forgot about it.

Today, there was a package in the mailbox, and the return address said Serbia. It took me a minute to remember having ordered the spindle, and I gleefully tore of the package and went to find the perfect fiber for my first try.

I had some lovely pin-drafted roving I scored at the Happy Hands Yankee Swap around Christmastime, and that seemed perfect: a pretty color, and properly rustic.
It took me quite awhile to get the hang of it, and while I am getting a pretty sturdy thick-and-thin single for my trouble, I probably am not spinning EXACTLY like a Serbian lady would.

It's not a supported spindle, nor is it a drop spindle. It's somewhere in between, and you spin off the point, as one would do with a Navajo spindle. One flicks the tip of the spindle between thumb and forefinger, and if it's being done properly, there will be a little "pop" sound on each spin. It's actually quite a cheerful sound, and made me think of "Pop Goes the Weasel."

So, as you can see, this spindle is rather plain and simple. Nothing ornate about it. It's a basic tool: a workhorse. I think it's quite elegant in its austerity.

For something so light weight, it spins a rather heavy yarn, and it reminds me a lot of the skein Grant bought me in Serbia a couple of years ago. Based on the way my yarn is spinning up, I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps that beautiful skein of handspun was actually spindle spun rather than wheel spun. I suppose I'll never know, but that does not stop me wondering!