Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm Back!

I have no good excuse for not doing a post in so long except the usual of life getting in the way. Now that the weather is turning, though, I am much more in the mood for knitting and spinning. In the last while I have gotten some beautiful inspiration...

A Forrester dual-whorl spindle.

 Wildcraft Garden Flowers

Golding Dragonfly. I am really, really trying to spin a little thicker so that this gorgeous spindle won't be hitting the floor!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tour de Fleece - Day 1

I am starting le Tour de Fleece with some mid grey gotland fibre. It is really clean, but Mikki seemed to find it interesting anyway.

I spent most of the day down at my favourite LYS, Golden Willow Natural Fibres, and got quite a bit done. Tomorrow I will ply samples of both a 2 and 3 ply yarn. I also spun a bit of it on my new Forrester spindle. It is easy to spin with its long staple length. It reminds me very much of Wensleydale.

I forced myself to spin the gotland singles thicker than I normally like to spin. I would also like to spin some as a lace weight, but I will really need to free up some bobbins first. So I am also trying to finish up some hand dyed BFL that has been sitting around almost completed for a while now. I got one bobbin finished this morning and am hoping to complete the second this evening.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My First Tour de Fleece

This year for the first time I am going to participate in the Tour de Fleece as part of Team Golden Willow. Over the years I have accumulated a small pile of approximately 100gr bags of different kinds of fibres.Sharon, the owner of the best LYS, is such an enabler. And she never tries to deny it.

So my goal over the next 20 or so days is to do a fibre study with all the various fibres. It will be an accomplishment to get them all spun and plied since some of them will also need carding and combing. The variety should make it very interesting, though.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

MORE Wild Weather

It just won't stop.

Things had finally started to dry and out of the blue we were hit with another storm today. I went into the shower to wash away all the sweat  from working out in the garden for 20 minutes and when I got out 10 minutes later the skies had turned dark. After rushing out to go and pick up the kids from school we had to wait another 20 minutes for the hail to stop. A quick trip driving home and the hail started again.
It is still raining too hard for me to go out and check the damage, but Katie felt brave enough to run out in a lull and gather up the hail from the trampoline. She also must have been cold since the temperature dropped over 10 degrees in about as many minutes.
Silly kid. I took the pictures from the relative safety of the house.

Eeek! That lightning was just way too close for comfort when we live in a yard with the highest trees in the neighbourhood. Time to power down the computer.

20 minutes later...
Oh for pity's sake! The rain stops, the sun comes out and then it starts to hail again.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Here Comes the Sun

It has been a while since my last post, but it has been raining. Raining agian. And then raining some more. When it rains I lose every ounce of ambition. If I had wanted to live in Vancouver I would have moved there. It may get really cold here in the winter, but Regina is pretty much the sunshine capital of Canada. Not this year, though. My bedding plants were rotting and my garden seeds were washing away.

But yesterday the sun shone again! Yipee! my psyche said. I dropped everything, grabbed some yarn, headed out to the deck and cast on a new project.

My housework, which also hasn't been done for weeks, also got dropped. But priorities are priorities.

Earlier in the spring and between bouts of rain dh Dallas and I redid out deck in the back yard. Well, Dallas did most of it, but I supervised really well. And did the staining. It turned out amazing and we have been spending every moment that we have been able to out there. So far that may have only added up to a couple of hours.
We have bird feeders and bird baths all around and we love to sit out there and watch the birds. We try to identify them also, but we are really bad at it. We were able to watch a mother sparrow teach her two little chicks how to fly which was pretty amusing. We also witnessed a family of 5 baby squirrels learn how to run and jump through the trees and roofs. That one would have been very funny if  we hadn't known that those same squirrels would be back later to raid all the bird feeders.

I seem to have developed quite a pile of half-completed knitting projects.
There are 3 socks (the grey one for my father-in-law only needs the cuff of the second sock to be finished), one lace scarf and now a beret for Katie. I am pretty sure that there are more kicking around, but they must have gotten put away out of the way. Not to mention that I have about 4 different spinning projects on the go.

I have also finally learned how to spindle spin! I couldn't resist the banded oak bur on sycamore with ash shaft spindle from IST.

It is supposed to rain again tomorrow so enough of this and back to my knitting on the deck. Now if I could just keep the caterpiller poop from landing on my head.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So Now What?

The short and concise answer is not much.

The question comes after our family has been going through battles with the school and the school board, struggling through an almost year long process of getting a diagnosis and trying to find some help for our son Christopher.

Last week we finally got the official diagnosis - Christopher has autism.

Christopher also has ADHD, which we have known about since he was 3. There is also the very distinct possibility that there are also other issues going on such as Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

Life can be very difficult when you are "different." I was so relieved when the diagnostic process was over because I believed that now we would be able to provide Christopher with some much needed assistance to help him navigate the rocky road that is his life.

Instead I find myself angry and upset. It turns out that we live in what is known to the rest of the autistic community across Canada as "the waste land." There is so little government funding for autism programs in Saskatchewan that the waiting list for services is about 10 years long.

We are luckier than a lot of families. Christopher's autism is relatively mild. My heart bleeds for the families who need intensive therapy if their children are to have any hope of improvement. At least we aren't put into the position of having to remortgage our home, borrowing heavily from anyone we can or even being forced to move to another province where there are better services in place.

There are some changes currently being made to try and address this huge embarrassing deficit. The problem is that a lot of children can't wait. They need help NOW. Waiting for the slow wheels of bureaucracy to turn can mean the difference between a life of total dependancy or a chance at a meaningful life. At the same time, however, the same government is cutting back funding to the school boards for educational assistants.

In Christopher's case little interventions could have the potential to make a big impact on his life. We will just have to get in line and hope. You can only listen to your child cry himself to sleep so often before your heart completely breaks. He knows he is not like the other kids.

If you can, please please make autism a cause you support. In Saskatchewan there is The Autism Resource Centre. There is also The Casey Foundation, which was started by a parent of an autistic child to try and provide financial support for families needing services. The foundation was started in 2005. Casey is still currently only on the waiting list.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Pioneer Gets a Makeover

My humble little plain Jane Majacraft Pioneer has received a make-over. From the beginning it has always been in the back of my mind that one day I would do something to fancy her up a bit. It just took me over a year before I finally figured out what exactly to do. In the end I kept it simple and just did a stencil in shades of brown and antique gold and then applied a darker stain. 

I am quite pleased with her now and think she looks very pretty.  
So she is all finished and put back together now.She still spins like a dream.