Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another year older. Almost.

OHHH good news! My birthday is approaching! I've been wanting a laptop for, well, forever. I practically got off the plane in Australia asking Chris for a laptop. He's asked me every year, birthday and Christmas, "What do you want", since I've been here. I say "A laptop". He always just looks at me and says: "No, really, what do you want?"

This time, he didn't say that. He didn't say anything else, well, not the first time, but at least he didn't make a joke of it. The next night, he asked again (I'm guessing just to see if I was sure. YES! For five years I've been sure!), and I replied "a laptop" again, and this time he said something to the effect of "Well, I don't know exactly what you want, so pick one out and I'll get it". I was (and still am) over the moon. I'm getting a Dell Inspiron with duo core processor and 2GB of RAM...vroooom vroooom. Ok, to some of you eggheads, that might not seem very impressive, but for me, a person who not two years ago was working on Windows 98, on a computer put together from parts in '99, with nothing more than dialup, it's an absolute rocket! And I'm getting it in Sunshine Yellow, to match my car!

Now, I must work out the "wireless router" thing, and of course buy one. I have zero experience with wireless anything. Ok, I do have cordless phones, but I'm pretty sure this is a bit different. I've seen wireless routers from as low as $53 to as high as $200 (there are probably some even more expensive, but I've blocked those out completely). I have found out, through various investigations, that all wireless routers will work with all ISP's as a rule, so I don't have to buy one from my internet provider if I don't want. I've found out that some have a bigger range than others. Sometime, over the weekend I suppose, or Monday at the latest, I'm going to go out and buy one, by hook or by crook. I want wireless, and I want it NOW!

I swear, I'm dreaming of this thing. Thinking of where I will take it and what we will do together. It's due to be here Monday, which is my actual birthday, so that will be awesome. We have a short holiday planned for the second week of school holidays (which begin next week) and I'm thinking of it as the laptop's first holiday. I'm even looking for patterns for "clothes" to make my new baby. I'm obsessed. Again.

Speaking of knitting, I finished the "Thank God They're Not Black" socks for Chris Tuesday morning. He tried them on, and as expected, loved the fit of the Widdershin's heel.

I'm happy with them. I made them one at a time, as mentioned, but I estimated the yarn I would need pretty well, so no "running short" disasters, and not too terribly much left over either.

A lovely friend from Ravelry, Sandybags, sent me some yarn to donate to the nursing home. What a kind and generous gesture! Knitters are just amazing people! I had to wind the blue skeins into balls, which took me days to get around to, but I'm finished now and it's in my car waiting for me to go back to work tonight.

I've been busier with my spinning, which I'm starting to at least understand better. Mastering it is another matter, but as they say,"practice, practice, practice". I finished off another batch of the brown wool,

which I will admit is becoming more of a chore than a joy these days. It is fiddley stuff to work with. The fibres are so short, and it's really hard for my inexperienced hands to keep the yarn at an even thickness. But at least bulky is what I'm going for. I think if I were trying to get thin yarn out of this stuff, I would go mad. But I've almost gotten all of it spun up. I've got a couple of bobbins full "relaxing" before I ply them (probably Sunday), and then perhaps enough to spin a couple of half bobbins to make one more plied bobbin full after that. And then, whew, I'll be finished with the stuff and can move on to brighter colors and more interesting projects.

Also on the spinning front, my one side excursion from the neverendingbrownstuff, the black and white Border Leichester, has been plied:

And seen here, straight off the niddy noddy:

And here they are, my two (albeit small) finished skeins:

The close up, as you might have figured out, is at the very top of this blog.

Can you tell that I'm really really proud of this stuff? It looks like yarn I might actually buy! And to think I made it from a bunch of fibres (beautifully prepared ones, but still!) I don't know what I'm going to make with it yet. It's about 100g. Any suggestions? I can't wait to get started on SOMETHING!

Another landmark event in my woolie pursuits happened this week. On Tuesday, I actually pulled out my brown Corridale fleece (bought from the Walking Wheel Studios) and scoured it. I cannot explain the trauma I went through, dropping wool down into super hot water! Emotionally, it was pretty awful, but in the end, it taught me plenty.

Lesson number one was that fleece that looks brown when you buy it, might just be really really dirty.

After scouring, my brown fleece morphed into a mostly grey, with spots of white and a very few spots of brown fleece.

It took a couple of days to dry, but right now it's setting in my clothes basket on the table waiting to be "teased". Now, I've done a bit of teasing in my day, but never wool, so this should be an adventure. Ok, not really. It looks pretty boring. But, according to my handy dandy book on spinning, it makes much better yarn if you prepare it. In the end, the teasing isn't what I'm worried about. I'm still all thumbs with a carder, so we shall have to wait and see how that goes.

School holidays are coming up, and Chris has a couple of weeks off (lucky bugger). He's going away during the first week, on a three day, two night boating outing. He's taking a couple of fellow teachers out on the fancy free, which leaves me with the house to myself and my fibre. I have one of those nights off work myself, so I'm looking to get alot done then.

The following week, I'm taking a day off work, to add to my two regular days off, and we are going over to Port Victoria on the Yorke Peninsula (the laptops first holiday, as I mentioned earlier). Of course, I will drag along my knitting, and sit outside a lovely cabin overlooking the Southern Ocean. Can anything sound nicer?

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